Since it opened its doors back in 2005, Roast restaurant’s mantra has been a simple one: to use produce from the nation’s farmers and fishermen to bring a new level of energy to British cooking. Its customers have long reaped the benefits, but now Marcus Verberne, the prodigiously talented head cook at this acclaimed Borough Market based eatery, is sharing its secret with a wider audience with the publication of Roast: a very British cookbook.
Featuring dishes for all occasions, from breakfasts and brunches through to lunches and dinners, this stunning tome recreates for the home cook some of Roast’s most popular fare. Alongside all the classics can be found a host of new favourites in this best of British selection of fish, poultry, lamb, mutton, goat, pork, beef, game and vegetables, plus many ideas for puddings, cocktails and wines.
Over 100 recipes illustrate Verberne’s dual approach: to source the best local produce on offer and to let the flavours and textures speak for themselves. The result is delicious, fuss-free delights like toasted crumpets with poached eggs, Bath pig chorizo & sweetcorn; pan-fried gurnard fillet with clams in cider & wild boar pancetta; anchovy-rubbed, hay-baked leg of mutton with parsley & caper sauce and roast chicken with sage-roasted squash, smoked bacon & creamed sweetcorn.
Unlike many cookbooks, the recipes here are all accessible; some are for basic preparations such as roasting potatoes or poaching eggs for which Marcus has included vital tips and rules that will ensure perfect results time after time. Other recipes are a little more ‘cheffy’ and use techniques that may be suited to more special occasions.
For the more difficult, unfamiliar preparations such as opening a live scallop or oyster, butchering a duck or rabbit or carving large joints, the book offers both step-by-step photographic instructions plus quick-response QR codes that once scanned using an appropriate device, link to film clips of online tutorials with Marcus.
The focus here is not only on the preparation of the final dish, but also on the vitally important role of those who provide its ingredients. The ultimate celebration of quality indigenous produce, Roast: a very British cookbook is Marcus’ personal tribute to the farmers, fishermen, growers, winemakers and other producers who with hard work, knowledge, skill and passion, inspire us to do their produce justice.
Roast: A Very British Cookbook is available from Amazon for £16.25.