Waitrose Food magazine survey finds Britain’s favourite roast combination:

  • The nations favourite roast combination is roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, goose fat roast potatoescarrots and sprouts
  • Those under the age of 25 are most likely to opt for a vegan/veggie roast alternative (11%), almost three times that of those over the age of 55 (4%)
  • Sprouts were crowned the nation’s favourite green vegetable overall but men are the biggest sprouts lovers with women favouring broccoli

During times of uncertainty, turning to traditional and comforting food brings a sense of familiarity and Waitrose reveals that the nation is turning to the good old favourite Sunday roast as sales and searches are on the rise.

The nation’s opinion of what makes the perfect roast varies throughout the country according to a poll by Waitrose Food, the retailers popular magazine that also recently introduced a new app. The poll of 2000 people revealed however, that the most popular combination is roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, goose fat roast potatoes, carrots and sprouts

When asked what people would choose, roast beef took the top spot with almost a third (27%) of the vote, closely followed by chicken at 26% and lamb at 16%.

Regionally, pork was the most popular in the North East and lamb was most popular in the West Midlands. A meaty centre-piece is still a firm favourite for the majority of the nation and Waitrose revealed ‘how to’ searches for roasting meat are up on its website by as much as 40% with ‘how to roast a lamb’‘how to roast pork’‘how to roast chicken’ and ‘how to roast beef’ up 15%, 18%, 39% and 40% respectively compared to last year.

As the popularity of vegan and vegetarian dishes continues to grow, the Sunday roast bucks the trend with just 7% of those surveyed saying they would opt for a veggie centrepiece. However, this differed by age with those between the ages of 18-25 being almost three times (11%) more likely to pick a meat-free option than those aged 55+ (4%).

Martyn Lee, Executive Chef at Waitrose, ‘A Sunday roast is the epitome of comfort food and this period of uncertainty is driving people back to the tradition. However you like your roast, the most special part is sitting around a table with the people you live with and spending it together. In a year where we’ve had to and still have to spend time away from our loved ones, people are making the most of the moments they do have to spend together.’

When it comes to condiments, the survey found that most people (25%) said they don’t have any condiments other than gravy with their roast dinner. For those that do, mint sauce came out on top with 20% of the vote, and for those in Northern Ireland, ketchup is the most enjoyed condiment with 15% saying they have it on a roast.

There are a few who favour some rather unusual sauces – two people surveyed said they add chilli sauce; two opted for mayonnaise, and one dollops harissa on their plate. These choices fit more in line with Chef Monica Galetti who likes to experiment with her Sunday roast sides saying, “Experiment with your sides. I love roast chicken with baked sweet potatoes and a fresh slaw made using hispi cabbage, red onion carrots, yogurt, mayonnaise and wholegrain mustard”.

For many, accompaniments are as important as the centrepiece and Yorkshire puddings have firmly claimed their place as the ultimate side, with 55% saying they should be served with every type of roast.

The survey also revealed carrots are the nation’s favourite root vegetable, picked by 45% as those surveyed, and they were almost twice as popular as the next favourite, parsnips (25%). Many will be surprised that sprouts topped the list of the most-loved green vegetable (26%), followed by broccoli (25%) however there was a definite gender divide with men being the biggest sprout lovers compared to women who favour broccoli.

When it comes to the roast potatoes, almost a quarter (23%) said using goose fat is their favourite way to cook them.

Quoted in the magazine, Chef Jason Atherton shared his thoughts of what constitutes the perfect roast, agreeing with the majority of those surveyed: “For me, roast dinner has to be beef! I always sear the meat in a pan before roasting, which ensures it has a good crust. Serve with plenty of Yorkshire puddings and hot horseradish”.

The surge in demand also coincides with the supermarket revealing that Waitrose branches have started to sell the John Lewis Cookshop ranges which are already proving popular. The John Lewis Cast Iron range is a best-seller with sales last week up over 1180% compared to last year, roasting tins are up 36% week on week and the John Lewis Stainless Steel and Hard Anodised ranges are up 68% and 32% respectively.

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