Sundays hit a snag in roast’s last post
IT was once the meal Aussies viewed as worth skipping a date with Tom Cruise for — but the traditional Sunday roast is facing “extinction” as time-poor families turn to short cuts to get dinner on the table.
Once an unmissable weekly staple, the traditional lamb or pork roast is being swapped out for sausages, peas with baked beans, and even the prized gravy for tomato sauce as families feel the pinch in terms of both time and money.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle told the Saturday Telegraph the days of the family roast were numbered, given Sundays have gone from a time to relax to instead become increasingly action-packed given commitments to kids, sport and the continuing DIY bug.
“Our Sundays used to be our days of rest and clearly that has changed,” he said.
“The consequence of that is that putting an hour aside to do the roast lamb — and even clearing the space for doing that long lunch that was once a key part of the day — has been squeezed out.
“Even if people go out for lunch, its an express lunch. It’s certainly not going to be the couple of hours they used to spend on a Sunday afternoon. And the Sunday afternoon roast would roll into board games or cricket in the back yard.”
News about the death of the Aussie roast follows a study in the UK last year that revealed one in five adults covered their meat with tomato sauce instead of gravy, while a third swapped roast lamb or roast beef for snags.
Ten per cent served up baked beans as a side dish.
“Is the lamb roast in danger of extinction?” Mr McCrindle asked. “We’ve got a new generation of householders that have pretty much grown up without it.” But that’s not to say that families and friends aren’t still setting time aside to get together. “I guess the barbie is the new substitute,” Mr McCrindle said. “It also has the social aspect. Maybe that’s a continuing tradition that’s good to see. But clearly the extended ongoing afternoon as defined by the Sunday roast is fading.” Butcher David Nedelkovski, from Elvy’s On Allen in Leichhardt, says gourmet sausages were particular favourites for Sunday meals now. “Come and sit here for a couple of hours on a Satur- day, see how many we sell,” he said.
Five Dock business fatherof-two Shaun Scully, 43, says his household doesn’t “do roasts at all”.
“The last time we did a roast was probably two years ago,” he said. “It’s more convenience than anything. I can go to the butcher and get a nice big steak and cut it up and away we go.
“Mum and dad still do a roast, so once a month we go over there for a family get-together. But for us, we just don’t do them.”
Supermarket chain Coles says it has noticed Aussies are swapping roast beef for salmon, with the fish selling swimmingly on Sundays. “Sunday is our biggest day of the week for salmon sales,” a Coles spokesman said.
Eisla and Erica Scully chow down on sausages and (below) butcher David Nedelkovski. Main picture: Jonathan Ng