Food & drink

James St Recipes: Make your roast dinners even tastier, with crowd-pleasing restaurant quality sides

Niall McKenna's roast potatoes
Niall McKenna

SUNDAYS are the one day of the week that I look forward to the most, especially when I get to have a day off from the restaurants to spend some quality time with my family.

A fond childhood memory of mine is the smell of a roast lingering throughout the house on a Sunday and still to this day, it is one of the most comforting smells.

This week’s recipes are two of my current favourite side dishes to serve with our Sunday roast. Seasoned with thyme and roasted until golden, the first is a classic roast potato recipe that is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

The second is Tuscan white wine vegetables, which elevates your standard veggie sides to a restaurant quality side dish.

If you want to up-skill in the kitchen or enjoy cooking with friends, why not visit our Cookery School? We cater for all levels, no matter what your cooking abilities and encourage the class to learn new skills to make delicious dishes at home.

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Niall McKenna's Tuscan white wine vegetables



400g of carrots, trimmed

400g of parsnips, peeled and sliced lengthways

4 banana shallots, chopped

650g of small potatoes, quartered

2 red onions, chopped into wedges

4tbsp of olive oil

50ml white wine (dry)

Thyme sprigs

20g of parsley

Salt and pepper


To start, pre-heat the oven to 200C and prepare the carrots, parsnips, shallots, red onion and potatoes.

Next, place all the vegetables into a large roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and wine and sprinkle with herbs before seasoning with salt and pepper.

Next, use your hands to ensure that all of the vegetables are coated. Cover in tin foil and seal tightly before placing in the oven and cooking for 30 minutes.

Remove tin foil and roast for a further 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

To serve, place in large bowl and serve.


(Serves 6)

2kg of Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into evenly sized chunks

Sea salt

5tbsp of light rapeseed oil

20g of unsalted butter, diced

10g of thyme leaves, chopped and destalked


Start by pre-heating the oven to 200C. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, adding a good pinch of salt.

Next, bring the water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, until you can push a knife through the centre without much resistance.

Next, drain the potatoes through a colander and lightly ruffle them around, ensuring you don't break the potatoes.

Pour the rapeseed oil into a heavy cast-iron oven tray ensuring that there is enough oil to cover the base of the tray. Place in the oven and heat for five minutes.

Remove the tray and carefully tip in the blanched potatoes, place back in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Remove and turn the potatoes over before placing them back into the oven.

Continue to turn the potatoes every 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and golden on all sides. This should take around 60 minutes.

Finally, remove from the oven and season with salt, butter and thyme before serving.

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