1. When seasoning beef, why not try adding a bit of brown sugar? It'll enhance the flavour and turn your meat golden-brown.
  2. When roasting a joint, sit it on chopped veg (we call this a vegetable trivet). Add a little bit of water, to help keep the meat moist and juicy, and you'll have the makings of a really good stock.
  3. Take the legs off your turkey before cooking the joint, as they need less time in the oven. Then put the legs and the joint back together when you serve.
  4. When cooking gammon, you can never soak it for too long. I put mine in water overnight to take out the salt and leave in the flavour.
  5. Here's the proper way to sharpen a carving knife. First, don't sharpen both sides or you'll probably blunt it. The trick is, if you're right-handed, sharpen the right-hand side; and vice versa if you're left-handed.


  1. For really light and fluffy Yorkshires, serve them up last. Don't leave them hanging around to get cold.
  2. Cook Yorkshires in small batches for the best results (I cook mine in fours).
  3. When heating oil for Yorkshires, it needs to be smoking hot. Once you see a blue haze above the oil, you know it's ready. Fill the tray as quick as you can and get it back in the oven.


  1. For the smoothest mash, dig out the old ricer from the back of the cupboard. If you don't have one, push your mashed-up potatoes through a sieve.
  2. For great taste, colour and flavour with veg, steaming is the only way to go.
  3. To make sprouts more appealing to kids, why not chop or shred them, then fry them with something else? I like to add bits of bacon and onion or peas and mint.


  1. The tastiest gravy is made using the juices from the roasting pan. Remember, colour is flavour, so don't be shy about scraping in those dark burned-in bits.
  2. For a great way to use up those last bits of condiments, chuck things like apple sauce, horseradish or mint sauce into the gravy. But with beef, I must suggest wholegrain mustard.
  3. Here's a trick for removing the fat from your gravy. If you're using stock from the roasting pan, put some ice in a colander and pour the stock over it. The fat will stick to the ice.


  1. Stuffing will soak up a lot of water (up to three times its own size). At first it'll look drowned, but leave it in the fridge and you'll soon see it absorb the liquid.
  2. Add a knob of butter to your stuffing for extra crunchiness.
  3. If you're using mint jelly, remember it's a concentrated sauce so add extra vinegar for more punch.
  4. To give your bread sauce a little more flavour, try adding a bay leaf or cloves.
  5. If you're using cooking apples to make sauce for your roast pork, add sugar to take the edge off the tartness. If you're using your normal eating apples, they're already sweet; so you won't need to slam in the sugar.


  1. For custard, you're best off using what we call a bain-marie, whether you're making it from scratch or using a powder mix. Get a pan of boiling water on, pop a heatproof glass dish over the top and pour in your custard. It'll heat up more gently and you'll get a lovely smooth, creamy texture.