New Website Feature – “Regular Recipes” from reader Gil Keay

Gazette reader Gil Keay will be providing ‘Regular Recipes’ for The Gazette website, with this being the first one.

Gil starts here with the basics – the way to a perfect Sunday Roast, enjoy!


Dear Gazette readers

Over the festive season it is always a pleasure to be invited to a meal or for an informal buffet party, an occasion where the host/hostess can show off their culinary skills as well as their social skills. Unfortunately, it seems to me that anyone born later than about 1985 can be a little short of basic cookery know-how, relying instead on supermarket produce which can taste a little…well, shop bought. I would of course never openly make my feelings known to my hosts for fear of having nowhere to go for a free meal!

Supermarket products can still have their place in the scheme of things, but, with a little “doctoring” can be transformed into a delicacy so fine the guests will never know of it’s origin. – All praise to the chef, who must have spent hours on this.- a few little tricks of the trade can take “lovely, thank-you” to “WOW”.

I am thinking of things such as gravy, roast potatoes, savoury stuffing, crudites, open sandwiches, cakes and crumble topping to mention just a few. Cooking, be it a sit down affair or a buffet, is only limited by ones imagination.

I was trained as a chef in the mid 1970’s at the Cock Inn, stableford and The Crown Hotel, Stone and my computer is crammed with recipes for everyday dishes which I have regarded as trade secrets, but if I am to enjoy the food at all the invitations I receive next Christmas, I need to get my hosts to begin to see food as I see it, sooner rather than later.

I hope you try, and enjoy some of my ‘Regular Recipes’

Gil Keay



Roasted potatoes

You will need :-

Butter – 3 tablespoons

Olive oil – 3 Tablespoons

Potatoes (I like King Edwards for roasting)


Rock salt and milled pepper

Thyme sprigs – 4/5 should be enough

To put it together :-

Pre-heat oven to 200° /gas 6

Combine butter and oil – saving some for later

Brush bottom and sides of baking dish

Slice potatoes thinly crossways (sharp knife or mandoline)

Arrange potatoes in the dish vertically

Slice shallots lengthways and wedge in between potatoes at intervals

Brush the top with saved butter/oil mix

Liberally season with salt and pepper

Bake for about 1-1/4 hours, add thyme sprigs to the top and return to oven for about ½ hour or so to cook right through and the top go crispy.



Yorkshire puddings

You will need :-

Plain flour (not self raising) – 3 oz/75 gram

Egg – 1

Milk – 3 fl oz/75 ml

Water – 2 fl oz/55ml

Salt and milled pepper


Beef dripping (or oil) for roasting dish (individual cake tray or one big dish)


To put it together:-

Sift flour into a bowl, break the egg into it and beat it as you gradually add the rest of the ingredients including the seasoning, you want some air in the mix.

Put a little dripping in your roasting dish and heat in the oven, you want that really hot, take out, give one last little beating to the mixture and pour into the dish. Do not overfill, about halfway up the dish should do fine.

Leave for about 25/30 mins to let your puddings rise and turn crisp and golden. Serve as soon as possible because they lose their crunchiness if they hang around too long.



You will need :-

Juices from the roasted joint (skimmed of excess fat)

Plain flour – 1 tablespoon

Gravy browning (liquid or powder – definitely not granules) – 1 table spoon

French mustard – 1 teaspoon (you can experiment with other mustard, Dijon perhaps)

Water, from the potatoes and vegetables is good, (you can be even more adventurous and use dry cider, red wine or stock etc.)*

A good quality, thick bottomed, roasting dish, or cast-iron gratin dish.

To put it together:-

Take joint out of the oven and put meat aside to rest.

Tilt roasting dish to allow juices to pool at one corner, scrape all the bits from around the dish with a wooden spoon, skim excess fat with a tablespoon.

Place roasting tin over direct heat (fairly low) and, as the juices start to sizzle, add flour, gravy browning and some liquid vigorously whisking (I like to use a whisk but a wooden spoon will be just as effective) as you do to produce a smooth paste, gradually add some more liquid and the French mustard, and stir all over the base of the pan in circular movements. Keep adding liquid until you have the require thickness, if you have added too much liquid, simply allow to simmer along to reduce the sauce which will thicken it again. Taste and season as required.

Transfer to a warmed gravy boat and serve.

*(Shop bought stockpots are not recommended as the chemicals in them ruin the subtle flavour, in my opinion).website feature –