Cooking A Roast – All You Need To Know
For Great Taste And Easy Roasting
Cooking a roast is a traditional way to share food with friends and
family. Here you can learn how to cook roast, such as how to roast beef,
as well as some tricks to a memorable meal.
Cooking a roast is
one of the easiest and most enjoyable meals you can make. The main
reason I like them (other then taste) is that once they’re in the oven,
you can pretty much forget about them until it’s time to eat.
lots and lots of roast recipes out there, and I think some have gotten
too clever for their own good. I’ve seen recipes where you need to apply
some special marinade, or you need to place various herbs and spices
inside the meat, or you slow cook them over several days. For me, none
of that is necessary and cooking a roast needn’t be that complicated
I hope to show you in this section is how to get great tasting roasts
with a minimum of fuss. Who wants to spend all their time in the kitchen
when there’s family and friends to spend time with? Not me.
If you're looking for roast and meat cooking times, click here.
Quality of Meat
You may have noticed I go on a bit about quality on this website, and
it’s no different here! Whatever cut of meat you choose, please try and
get the best quality you can afford. I have found that the best quality
cuts come direct from my local butcher, not the supermarket.
good butcher will help you choose something good, and will even cut
something to your specification if you ask. A supermarket simply can’t
offer this service, and since they buy in bulk they can’t guarantee a
good uniform quality (in my opinion).
Get the best you can, and
you will really notice the difference. If you’re going to spend a couple
of hours cooking a roast, you may as well make the wait worthwhile!
What to Roast
There’s many different foods you can roast, and they’re not limited
to meat either. Potatoes and other vegetables taste fantastic when
roasted and usually I’ll cook them right alongside the meat.
- Chicken / Turkey:
The best tip here is to go for a free-range bird. They taste much
better than birds farmed more intensively, shall we say. Before
roasting, make sure the cavity is empty (sometimes the giblets might be
in there in a plastic bag, which would be awful when roasted). You can
add some stuffing in there, which will make the bird plumper and
tastier, just make sure you stuff it just before roasting.
Easily my favourite roast – I just love the succulent taste and
tenderness of it. The great thing about lamb is that most cuts can be
roasted and remain tender. My favourite cuts are leg (with the bone
still in, as it roasts just that little better on the inside. It does
make it a little trickier to carve, though), rack of lamb, and loin.
Cooking roast beef is something many people enjoy, and it’s not
surprising. Like lamb, beef is pretty versatile when it comes to
roasting. The best cuts are rib roast (more expensive but very, very
nice), rib eye fillet and whole rump. Rib roasts still contain the
bones, but you can carve them really easily so everyone gets one
(basically you end up with rib-eye steak). Rumps are cheaper cuts but
carve really easily as they have no bone. They can be a little tough, so
try to get good quality ones.
- Pork: Cooking a roast
pork isn’t something I have all that often. Maybe because it’s a little
tougher than red meat on average. But that said, if you roast pork
fillet it tastes great (but it is expensive, as you’d expect!). Other
good cuts for roasting are loin and rack or pork.
Usually the only accompaniments I have with roasts are roast potatoes
and carrots. I might steam some other vegetables like broccoli,
cauliflower, beans or peas. When roasting potatoes and carrots, always
put them in the same roasting tray with the meat. That way they get the
benefit of the juices from the meat. Baste them regularly, too – at
least twice during cooking. If you don’t have enough room to fit them in
the roasting tray, then you can roast them separately but I have found
that adding some animal fat to be fantastic. Apparently goose fat is the
best, but I haven’t tried that yet. It’s a good idea to save some of
the leftover fat (it’s called dripping) from roasting and store in the
fridge. Then you can use it on your potatoes and other vegetables.
How to Roast
Cooking a roast is easy! Place meat in a roasting tray, brush some
canola oil over it and place in the oven for the specified time. Then
carve and eat.
Well, that might be easy but a little care and preparation beforehand will make it much better.
The first thing is to work out how long to cook the meat for. Here’s some guidelines that have served me well:
- Lamb and Beef:
60 minutes per kilogram (equivalent to 30 minutes per pound), at 180°
Celsius / 350° Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 4 / Moderate oven. This will give
you a medium roast, so cook less or for longer depending on whether you
want rare or well done.
- Pork: 90 minutes per kilogram (40 minutes per pound), at 180° Celsius / 350° Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 4 / Moderate oven.
- Chicken: 60 minutes per kilogram (equivalent to 30 minutes per pound), at 180° Celsius / 350° Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 4 / Moderate oven.
3-3½ hours for a 5-6 kilogram (11-13 pound) bird, or 4-4½ hours for a
6½-8 kilogram (14-18 pound) bird, at 180° Celsius / 350° Fahrenheit /
Gas Mark 4 / Moderate oven.
- Potatoes and Carrots:
Peel and cut the potatoes and carrots in half and roast for 60 minutes
at 180° Celsius / 350° Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 4 / Moderate oven. Place in
the same roasting tray as the meat, and baste with the meat juices
Click here for a complete list of roast meat cooking times for oven and barbecue.
Resting After Roasting
No, not you – the meat! After cooking a roast, it’s very important to
let the meat rest. The reason for this is so the fibres of the meat can
relax and let the juices flow through. This gives a more succulent and
memorable taste. All you need to do is remove the meat from the roasting
tray and play on the carving tray. Then cover with tin foil and leave
for 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry about it getting cold – there’s more than
enough heat in there. Just keep it covered.
And that’s it! All
that remains is to carve the meat, serve up and enjoy. You can also make
some gravy if you so desire from the juices remaining in the roasting
Return from Cooking A Roast to Simple Meals
Return from Cooking A Roast to Basic Cooking Home