Roasts with the most! From a Sunday joint to hotpots, traybakes and roast fish, the new River Cottage cookbook shows you how to rustle up scrummy meals with just one pan and an oven


Serves 4

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) leftover cooked veg and/or meat or fish, chopped or sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • 8 medium eggs, beaten
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 200g (7oz) Cheddar (or other cheese), grated

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/ gas 7. Line the base of a shallow roasting tray, about 25cm x 15cm, with baking paper.

The Best Marques de los Rios Cava Brut (12%) £9, Morrisons

The Best Marques de los Rios Cava Brut (12%) £9, Morrisons

Tip the leftovers into the roasting tray, add the cherry tomatoes, if using, and spread out evenly. Pour on the beaten eggs, season liberally with salt and pepper, and scatter over the grated cheese. Stir lightly to combine.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the egg is set.

Pierce the centre of the frittata with the tip of a knife to check there is no runny egg – if there is, return the tray to the oven to finish cooking, checking every 5 minutes.

Remove the frittata from the oven and cut into squares to serve. It’s delicious served hot but also good eaten cold – making it ideal for lunchboxes.


The Best Marques de los Rios Cava Brut (12%) £9, Morrisons

Bubbly is an uplifting treat with frittata, and Spanish cava is ideal, with its robust savoury twist and zippy citrus definition


Serves 4-8 (depending on the size of the fish)

  • 1 turbot, ideally 2-2.5kg (4lb 8oz-5lb 8oz), or other flat fish (see tip, above right)
  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) mixed heritage tomatoes (a variety of sizes), larger ones halved or quartered
  • 400g (14oz) green beans (or try other colours, such as purple beans), trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Crusty bread, to serve
Domaine de Saint Ferreol Viognier 2022 (13.5%) From £14.99, Majestic

Domaine de Saint Ferreol Viognier 2022 (13.5%) From £14.99, Majestic

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Lay the fish flat in a large roasting tray. Trickle over half the olive oil and rub all over the fish. Season on both sides.

In a large bowl, gently toss all the tomatoes with the green beans, sliced garlic, remaining 2tbsp oil and some seasoning. Scatter the mixture around the fish.

Roast in the oven, allowing about 25 minutes for a 2-2.5kg fish, or 10-15 minutes for a smaller, 1-1.5kg fish. To check the fish is cooked, pierce the fattest part near the middle: the flesh should have just changed colour and become tender through to the bone. If not, return to the oven, checking every 3-4 minutes. Don’t overcook it!

Serve the fish and veg straight from the tray, with plenty of crusty bread on the side to mop up the delicious juices.


Domaine de Saint Ferreol Viognier 2022 (13.5%) From £14.99, Majestic

Turbot and viognier is a classic pairing, and this has the creamy richness and apricot buzz to really tantalise your tastebuds.


You can use less expensive fish for this dish, such as brill, or even a good-sized plaice.


Serves 4

  • 5-6 medium beetroot
  • 2tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 150g (5½oz) blackcurrants
  • A small bunch of dill, sprigs picked
  • 150g (5½oz) feta
Expressions Carménère 2022 (13.5%) £10, M&S

Expressions Carménère 2022 (13.5%) £10, M&S

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Peel the beetroot, chop into 3cm pieces and tip into a roasting tray.

Trickle the rapeseed oil over and season with salt and pepper.

Toss together and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the beetroot have started to soften, stirring halfway through.

Take out the tray, add the chilli and blackcurrants, then return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently stir through most of the dill sprigs.

Transfer to a warmed serving dish and crumble the feta over.

Scatter with the remaining dill and serve.


Expressions Carménère 2022 (13.5%) £10, M&S

Cracked black pepper and ripe black fruit add up to a sensationally sleek creation that’s superb as an accompaniment to roast beetroot.


Serves 6-8

  • 1 boned and rolled joint of brisket (1.5-2kg/3lb 5oz-4lb 8oz)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4tbsp sunflower or light rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 3 carrots, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces
  • 3 celery sticks, cut into 5cm (2in) slices
  • 8 chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 4 star anise
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • 750ml (1¼pt) light ale, such as IPA
  • 3tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
Timothy Taylor's Landlord Dark Ale (4.1%, 500ml) £2.30, or £5.70 for 3, Ocado

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Dark Ale (4.1%, 500ml) £2.30, or £5.70 for 3, Ocado

Bring the meat to room temperature an hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 230°C/fan 210°C/gas 8. Put a deep, lidded casserole dish into the oven to heat up for 10 minutes.

Season the brisket all over with salt. Take the hot casserole out of the oven and add the oil. Carefully lower in the brisket (the oil will spit) and turn the meat to coat all over with the oil.

Cook for 10 minutes, remove and give the brisket a quarter-turn. Return to the oven and repeat every 10 minutes until the meat is a deep brown colour. Add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic. Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the veg have taken on some colour.

Reduce the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Add the oranges, star anise, cinnamon, ale, tamari (or soy), bay leaves and thyme sprigs to the casserole. Top up with a little extra beer or water to ensure the brisket is at least two-thirds immersed in liquid.

Put the lid on and cook for 2½-3 hours until juicy and tender, checking during cooking that the liquor hasn’t reduced down too much and adding a little water as necessary. At the end of cooking, you should have about a 5cm depth of liquor in the casserole.

Remove the meat to a warmed plate and set aside. Discard the star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves and thyme stalks from the liquor. Squeeze the juice from the oranges out with the back of a spoon and discard the skins. Taste the liquor and season accordingly.

Remove the string from the brisket and carve into slices. Serve with the pot-roasted vegetables and a ladleful of the cooking liquor.


Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Dark Ale (4.1%, 500ml) £2.30, or £5.70 for 3, Ocado

Produced by legendary Yorkshire brewery Timothy Taylor’s, this deep, dark concoction has a mellow magic when served cool with a warming brisket pot roast.


This method of roasting will also work beautifully with a shoulder of pork – just swap the light ale for cider


Serves 6-8

  • 1 medium swede
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 200g (7oz) Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 2cm (¾in) slices
  • 200g (7oz) chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 3tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 400ml (14fl oz) passata
  • 1tbsp white miso paste
  • 1tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1tbsp dried seaweed flakes (optional)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
Zacharias Assyrtiko 2022 (14%) £12.49, Waitrose

Zacharias Assyrtiko 2022 (14%) £12.49, Waitrose

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Peel the swede, carrots and onions, cut them into 1cm pieces and place in a roasting pan. Peel the artichokes, cut them into 2cm pieces and add to the pan with the leeks.

Add the mushrooms, garlic and capers, trickle 2tbsp of the rapeseed oil over and toss to mix. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Add the passata, miso, tamari (or soy) and seaweed, if using. Stir and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened. In the meantime, peel and finely slice the sweet potatoes.

Remove the pan from the oven and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, but go easy on the salt as the miso, soy and seaweed all contribute.

Carefully layer the sweet potato slices evenly over the surface. Brush with the remaining 1tbsp oil, season with salt and pepper and scatter the thyme on top. Return to the oven for 35-40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked and crispy at the edges. Serve from the dish.

River Cottage Great Roasts by Gelf Alderson, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £20 hardback, is out now

River Cottage Great Roasts by Gelf Alderson, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £20 hardback, is out now


Zacharias Assyrtiko 2022 (14%) £12.49, Waitrose

Pour this rich, Greek white to bring out the best in your veg hotpot. Its steely lemony grip and dynamic mineral purity provide maximum refreshment. It’s intense!


Chunks of celeriac will work very nicely here in place of the Jerusalem artichokes, if you prefer.

River Cottage Great Roasts by Gelf Alderson, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £20 hardback, is out now. To order a copy for £18 go to mailshop. or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25. Promotional price valid until 11/11/23. Photographs © Emma Lee

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