Roast Beef with Gravy, Popovers, Potatoes and Tiny Carrots (but mostly, a book review of “Meals in Minutes”)


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The first thing you need to know about Jamie Oliver’s “Meals in Minutes” is that the title is a lie. Don’t get me wrong – I love the book. The layout is so cool and user-friendly. He puts together recipe combinations for entire meals and sets up the instructions for the recipes together so that all items are ready in time for dinner. The book is incredibly helpful, especially for people who are a little newer to cooking from scratch and planning meals. However, this particular “30-minute meal” took over 2 hours for me to prepare the first time. Before you approach one of these meals, you just need to be aware that it takes JAMIE 30 minutes to make the meal. Because he knows the recipe and he knows what he’s doing, and because the instructions tell you to have all ingredients measured out and cleaned/chopped before you begin. On your first pass, it will take a bit longer. Quite a bit. But I’m willing to believe that by the third time I make this meal, it will only take me about a half hour. And I can promise you that there will be a second and third time for making this meal, because it was outstanding. Oh, so good. So good, in fact, that there were no leftovers for me to photograph to go with this post. That’s why the picture above only contains the items I could re-create the following week. Having recently joined a meat CSA with monthly deliveries, I’m less in control of when I will have a beef roast at my disposal again. I didn’t want you to have to wait that long before hearing about this meal.

I will be honest – I’m not very comfortable cooking meat. Roasts, especially. This task usually falls to the Hippie Husband. This was a new step for me, and Jamie made it so simple and rewarding. Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed this meal.

There’s no way for me to re-create the instructions for this meal without trampling all over the copyright. I don’t want to mess with perfection. The good news is that even if you don’t have access to “Meals in Minutes,” you can still find these recipes online at Channel 4’s website. This seems to be the British version of this meal, so the popovers are called mini Yorkshire puddings (or “Yorkies”) and there is a salad on the website that is not part of the cookbook’s menu. We did not try the watercress, so I can’t speak for its deliciousness. The rest of the menu is pure gold.

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Meals in Minutes is a fantastic cookbook. I don’t own many of them, but I will be adding this cookbook to our collection. I can’t wait to try some more of these meals.

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2 thoughts on “Roast Beef with Gravy, Popovers, Potatoes and Tiny Carrots (but mostly, a book review of “Meals in Minutes”)

  1. Did you just use a regular muffin tin or did you somehow acquire a “shallow bun tin” as specified on the recipe on the website. Also is 1 mug of milk a cup of milk? Is his cookbook in American measurements and baking/cooking terminology?

    • The cookbook used more American terminology, so it called for a muffin tin. The “mug” vocab stayed the same, though. It’s about a cup.

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