The British have a perhaps undeserved international reputation for serving awful food. However, for all the jokes about spotted dick and steamed pudding, there is one tradition that even the most arch enemy of our cuisine would struggle to argue with - the Sunday roast.
Crisp and fluffy roast potatoes, piles of greens and a meaty centerpiece topped with lashings of proper gravy is a family favorite up and down the country. But while the roast is rightly a source of national pride, it is by no means the only tasty Sunday tradition. For anyone feeling a bit more adventurous, here’s a collection of other delicious alternatives from around the world.
As a nation known for the quality of their meat, it’s not surprising that Argentina are masters of roasting. Sunday dinner is considered to be the most significant meal of the week: a time for families to reconnect and celebrate together with food. While pasta features prominently on some Sunday Argentinian menus, the star attraction has to be the asado barbecue. Sausages and prime beef cuts are grilled over an open flame and served piping hot alongside charred vegetables in a rustic and totally yummy tradition.
Originally created as an alternative to the beef stew served to sailors in the British navy, nikujaga has grown to become a common home cooked comfort food favourite across Japan. With a hearty broth as its base, the dish features potato, onion, soy sauce and vegetables topped with thin slices of roasted meat. It may not look anything like the British roast, but nikujaga is no less delicious.
The British do not have a monopoly on exceptional Sunday cooking traditions. From across the North Sea, the Norwegian svinestek is a pork dish that can certainly give anything that we offer a run for its money. Pork joints are slowly roasted to perfection, before being served with gravy, veg, potatoes and a specially pickled cabbage that helps to cut through and enhance the fatty meat. Featuring a great balance of sweet and savoury, svinestek is certainly worth sampling.
A small South American country with clear influences from its colonial past, Uruguay has a number of surprising culinary traditions. Thanks to Italian influence, for many, Sunday is pasta day. A favourite pasta dish features stuffed cappelletti served with a caruso sauce of cream, ham, cheese, nuts and mushrooms. For anyone who doesn’t fancy the hassle of a full roast, this delicious dish makes a great alternative.
5. South Africa
Another nation of beefy barbecue specialists, the South African braai is considered by many to be the definitive example of meat cookery. Featuring a variety of domestic and game meats, the contents of a braai can vary enormously from place to place and promises a different eating experience with every sitting. Rounded off with a sweet, sticky malva pudding, the South African roast is a meal worth waiting for.
Your views on what makes the perfect Sunday dinner will vary enormously according to where you come from. Whatever your preferences, however, there can be little doubt that the dishes on this list all offer something totally delicious. Next time you’re feeling a little experimental on a Sunday, give one a go. You won’t regret it.