Nothing tops a plate piled high with roasted meats, crispy potatoes, buttery vegetables, and gravy. But cooking a Sunday roast can sometimes feel like more effort than it is worth, and with living costs on the rise, experts have warned you might soon have to fork out £5 on energy for every roast you cook.
Keen to find a budget-friendly alternative that could also cut back the time spent on washing up, Manchester Evening News’ Jenna Campbell set out on a quest to find “a solution that offered the best of both worlds.” And she has brilliant news for any Stockport locals, as she delivered high praise after trying a £5 takeaway roast, ordered through delivery app, Stockport Eats.
Having spotted a roast option available from Frenchie’s Kitchen & Grill, which she describes as “a small but mighty operation cooking up breakfasts, butties and burgers”, Jenna conducted a taste test. Here’s how she got on, in her own words.
She said: “My interest was piqued when I saw that on Sundays they let you assemble your own roast – a gamechanger. The build-your-own option is bound to appeal to fussy eaters, who may want to forgo some of the less desirable roast accompaniments, but it also allows you to keep costs down.
“There’s 26 items on the Frenchie’s Build-a-Roast tab, with prices for meat, vegetables and gravy each individually priced at 70p a serving. All the bases are covered from chicken breast and numerous potato options to cauliflower cheese and Yorkshire puddings.
“Additions like apple sauce, English mustard, horseradish and mint sauce are available for 35p each. Now, if you’re wanting it delivered, it’s a minimum order of £12, but you can easily get two or three roasts for that as you’re unlikely to want all 26 items off the menu.”
Jenna continued: “If you were to order every single item it would set you back £16.45, but most likely you will pick somewhere between five and ten items. Firstly, to see how much I could get for less than a fiver I ordered the chicken, cauliflower cheese, carrots, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing and gravy, which with a ten percent discount from the app and a 50p service charge came in at £4.91.
“For those that prefer a large roast, I ordered a second to see how much you could get under a tenner. With 12 items off the menu, it came in at 8.69 and that was probably overdoing it, especially with three types of potato – swede mash, roast potatoes and normal mash – plus pigs in blankets and numerous other vegetables and gravy.
“As I was slightly out of the catchment for delivery, I opted to for collection, though I later found out if you call up, they can usually come out to you.
“This option requires no minimum spend, so you could quite easily pick up a roast for less than a fiver as you don’t need to hit the £12 threshold. Pitch black outside by this point, I drove over to the address just off Petersgate and after a few phone calls to the owner, Toyah, found myself heading into the basement of a 24-hour gym – not quite where I expected to be picking up my dinner.
“Fortunately, at the bottom of the steps a young lad was manning the desk signposted Frenchie’s and promptly asked me if I had ordered a roast. Grabbing his mum from the kitchen, out came Toyah with the two roasts packaged up in large tin foil containers, and off I went, slightly bemused, but also glad this wasn’t all one massive con to get me to sign up to a gym.”
She added: “Some 20 minutes later, and back in my kitchen, I unveiled the roasts, which I’m glad to say were still very warm. All items neatly displayed in the tin, it was time to dig in.
“I don’ think there’s any way to make cauliflower cheese look appetising in a a tin foil container, but don’t let looks deceive you, as this is one of the standout parts of the roast. The cauliflower was cooked well – importantly not overcooked – and the cheese wasn’t too much, which is key when taking on the mammoth task of eating a large roast.
“Equally notable was the stuffing, which had a pleasant texture and thankfully wasn’t dry, and went down well with the swede mash, which wasn’t too lumpy, and the crispy roast potatoes.
“One thing that I would potentially change though, was the gravy, and while there’s plenty of it, I would have preferred if it had been served in a separate container to allow me to choose how much covered the meal, rather than the individual components soaking it up.”
Jenna concluded: “It has to be said for less than a fiver – or less than a tenner if you want to go all out – this roast isn’t half bad. Sure, it’s not quite the level of restaurants and pubs in town, but as we all know, in the current climate, it’s not always feasible to be spending upwards of £15 on a roast dinner.
“You can also tell a lot of preparation and effort had been put into the final product, a consideration that extended to the unexpected addition of a two cake slices thrown in for free. Though I was stuffed at this point, I made space for the delicate piece of sponge cake with raspberry filling – it would have been rude not to.
“When it comes down to it, a roast dinner is the ultimate comfort meal, and Frenchie’s has put a lot of effort and time into serving up their own interpretation of this Sunday staple, and at a fraction of the cost of city centre options. Stuffed to the brim, and thoroughly impressed with what Toyah has pulled off for less than a fiver, I might just be returning to the 24-hour gym in Stockport sooner than anticipated.”