The Sunday roast just awaiting the gravy

“This is an exceptional piece of meat. In fact the whole roast is really delicious,” Mr Greedy said as he laid his knife and fork on a suspiciously clean plate.

There was a collective sigh of relief around the table because Mr Greedy is chief roast maker, a task he seldom deviates from and his Sunday lunches are legendary.

From his immense Yorkshire puddings, to his celebrated gravy, nothing is too much trouble where a roast is concerned, and reviewing Killingworth Castle’s Sunday offering was always going to be tense.

Manager Paul brings out the goodies

We, the washer uppers and sous chefs extraordinaire, were perhaps more excited because it got us off the hook, but that’s why so many people pay for Sunday roast takeaways. Less hassle all round right?

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And anyway, not everyone wants to cook a roast at home – too time consuming when you could be kicking a ball around a park or reading a book in front of the fire, playing with the kids, too much effort, too tired, or because a roast for one or even two may seem rather excessive.

The veggie wellington in its box

And that’s where Killingworth Castle has stepped in. Because they supply a damn fine plate of food with minimum effort. All you have to do is go online, choose between meat and veggie, add extras such as cauliflower cheese or dessert, pick a time, pay, and Bob’s your very lucky uncle.

Which is why there was such a hum of excitement in the air as I waited outside Killingworth Castle in Wootton at the allocated time yesterday.

People were pitching up by car as bag after bag of goodies came sweeping out the front door courtesy of manager Paul, to be driven home and consumed with as much appreciation as ours presumably.

But can the takeaway roast replace that wonderful ritual of cooking – the preparation of the meat, peeling the potatoes while listening to the radio, chopping the veg, making cauliflower cheese and Yorkshire puddings, laying the table, finding the gravy jug, and that smell of roasting meat and veg that slowly pervades the house?

The beef Sunday roast just awaiting the gravy

Perhaps not, but that’s not the point. iIt’s offering you a care free way to enjoy the same repast with the minimum fuss, leaving the comparison down to the food and ingredients themselves.

In short it needed to be pretty darn good. The result? Four square recyclable metal boxes of roast at £14 a head which were full of sliced roast beef, root veggies – the superb crunchy roasties, plus parsnips, winter greens (tender stemmed broccoli and cabbage) and a huge wobble Yorkshire pudding, with gravy. Pretty reasonable I thought considering the shopping and cooking usually involved.

The veggie wellington – spiced red lentil and butternut squash, roast potatoes and veg, greens and vegetarian gravy for £12, was just as impressive and made with great care rather than as an afterthought.

The veggie wellington roast plated off

We ordered cauliflower cheese as an extra which was well worth it enhancing the flavours of the meat that little bit more. The beef had a flavour and depth which give large joints the advantage. The beef wasn’t chewy either.

Any criticisms? Well we could have had more – more beef, more gravy – even though our plates were piled high, but that’s just greed. Some horseradish would have been nice. But otherwise no.

The rocky roads

We’d sneakily thrown a few rocky roads into the mix for pudding. Also available as part of Killy’s weekend takeaway menu, and perhaps not the most obvious Sunday roast dessert (there was a Bramley apple and raisin strudel with custard on offer), at £3 they were a perfect, chocolatey pat on the back to finish off our meal.

Verdict? It’s an epic thumbs up from us and the bonus? No washing up. Win, win.

To book go to https://www.thekillingworthcastle.com/takeaway-menu

Katherine MacAlister

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