Cheating Roast, cider & apples

Roast with cider(3)

We don’t eat an awful lot of processed food but the other day Holland & Barrett had one of their ‘buy one get one half price’ sales on and we bought a couple of VBites Cheatin’ Roasts for a quick Sunday meal. Instead of having it with the usual gravy, I find it best to cook it pot roast style with some veggies and fruit which create their own thick sauce and keep it nice and moist.

What veggies you use is down to you as well as the cooking medium – I have tried brown ale, cider, wine and just water and depending on which Cheatin’ Roast you opt for, one of the above is a very simple way of making this roast special.

Here I have teamed their Cheating Gammon Style roast with Aspall Cider, being vegan, it was the obvious choice.


One VBites Roast (I used the Cheating Gammon style 390g available at Holland & Barrett and online – see link)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, thickly sliced (use 1 large onion if you don’t have shallots)
1 large sweet apple, sliced
3 sticks of celery, sliced
8 dried apricots
1 bottle Aspall’s cider – 500ml plus 300ml water (Aspall’s is vegan)
1 teaspoon dry sage
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little cold water
Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a deep pan and add all the vegetables – fry for a few minutes to release the flavours
  2. Place the roast in the pan and add cider, water, apricots, sage, bay leaves and a little salt
  3. Cover the pan and let the roast simmer on low for about 45 minutes, turning the roast once halfway through cooking
  4. With a wooden spoon mash some of the vegetables then mix the cornflour with water and add to thicken gravy. You may find that your sauce is thick enough for you, in which case you can skip the cornflour!
  5. Serve with steamed greens and potatoes

Note: Whichever brand of cider you use, try to use a medium sweet cider but if the roast tastes a bit tart, add a tablespoon of brown sugar towards the end

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