Once reserved for Sunday lunch, these days roasts deserve a special place on the everyday menu for their ease of preparation and mouthwatering flavour. Even better are the tasty leftovers for the next day. Here are our favourite tips for sure-fire roasting success.
Let the meat come up to room temperature for at least half an hour before roasting. This will take the chill out of the meat and allow it to cook through more consistently.
Rub with oil, salt and herbs. Brown the meat in a pan first or roast on high heat for the first 15–20 minutes.
Place the meat on a roasting rack in the roasting pan or raise it on top of some halved red onions or a bed of root vegetables that will cook in approximately the same. This allows the heat to circulate and cooks the meat more evenly.
Always preheat the oven to 200˚C before adding your roast. Turn the oven temperature down to 180˚C after 15 minutes.
Baste with the pan juices halfway through cooking. If the veggies are looking dry, add a splash of water.
Pork, chicken or turkey should always be well done and cooked through. Beef and lamb can be cooked to rare or medium. To calculate your cooking time, use the following guide:
– Rare: allow 10–15 minutes per 500g plus 15 minutes (internal temperature of 65˚C if using a meat thermometer)
– Medium: allow 15–20 minutes per 500g plus 15 minutes (internal temperature 70˚C)
– Well done: allow 20–25 minutes per 500g plus 15 minutes (internal temperature 75–80˚C)
You can also test if the meat is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part and check the colour of the juice that comes out.
Let the roast rest (loosely covered with foil) for at least 20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to distribute through the meat and gives you a moist, tender and juicy result.
2. Roast potatoes
At least 10 minutes before your potatoes are ready to go in, preheat the oven to 200˚C and heat a roasting pan with a large dollop of duck fat. (You can also use sunflower, canola or coconut oil.)
Peel and parboil your potatoes for 8 minutes in salted water.
Drain them in a colander and then shake it vigorously to roughen the edges.
Carefully place the potatoes in the hot roasting pan, turning to coat them on all sides in the fat/oil and then sprinkle with salt.
Turn the oven down to 180˚C and roast for 50 minutes until golden brown.
Blanch your vegetables by placing them in a pot of salted simmering water until they just start to soften; immediately pop them into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop them from cooking any further. (This allows them to retain colour, nutrients and flavour.) Drain well in a colander and transfer to a heated serving dish or platter.
While the meat is resting, deglaze the roasting pan on the stovetop with 250ml good quality stock. Thicken it with 1 tablespoon plain flour, and stir while it simmers and thickens into a fragrant gravy. Transfer to a heated gravy boat or stoneware jug to serve.
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