Roasting meat: The golden rules
Weekends are a perfect excuse, if ever one was needed, to serve up one of the family’s all-time favourite meals. Whatever meat you choose, be sure to follow these rules for a perfect roast every time.
Out of the fridge
Bring your roast out of the fridge 30 minutes before you pop it in the oven. Letting the meat come closer to room temperature before popping it in the oven means it cooks more evenly.
Pat it dry
Always pat your meat dry, then season and herb it to your heart’s desire and add a little olive oil. If the surface of your roast is wet when it goes in the oven, it won’t brown nicely because the steam protects the outer layer.
If it’s a red meat roast you’re cooking, it’s always better to sear all the surfaces in a pan first. This little trick helps with the caramelisation of your meat, adding extra flavour to your roast.
Uncover your meat for the last stages of cooking
For the majority of its time in the oven, it’s important to keep your roast covered with tinfoil to stop it drying out and help speed up the cooking process. But, in the last 5-10 minutes be sure to uncover your roast. This will ensure your meat and veges have good colour.
Prop it up
Place the meat on a rack in your roasting tray, or prop it up on some onions. That enables the hot air to circulate for an even roasting - the bottom of your roast won’t stew away as it cooks.
Crispy crackling on your pork roast
If it’s a pork roast you’re cooking, crispy crackling is a must. And it’s all achievable in three simple steps:
- Score the rind well, in the same direction you’ll be carving the roast as this makes for easy carving (you can even ask your butcher to do this for you) and cover liberally with oil and salt.
- Cook your roast following the normal cooking time then remove the rind.
- While your roast rests, place the rind under the preheated grill until it’s perfectly crisp and puffy.
Rest, rest, rest.
Always rest the meat once it’s out of the oven. The rule of thumb is to rest the meat for a third of the time it was in the oven. While your roast is cooking, all the juices are driven to the centre, the resting time lets these juices redistribute through the meat helping to retain moisture when you carve.
Want a break from the traditional roast? Try out these exciting alternatives that are served with rice.