The Accidental Locavore thinks that roasting meat (or vegetables) is one of the easiest ways to get an impressive dinner on the table.
Don’t be afraid of roasting. If you have the right tools, it’s a snap.
Roasting in 10 easy steps:
- Remove the meat from the fridge about an hour before you want to start.
- Make sure oven racks are in the middle of the oven and you have enough room for the roasting pan and its contents. If not, lower the rack until you do.
- Preheat the oven: 350° for most meats, 250° if you’re doing a slow roast duck, hotter for chickens and vegetables.
- Speaking of vegetables, tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper and throwing them on a sheet pan in a 400° oven always works.
- And don’t forget potatoes! Cut in chunks, boiled until just tender and tossed into the bottom of a pan about 15 minutes before the meat is cooked, makes wonderful roast potatoes (especially good under chickens and ducks!).
- While the oven is heating, pat the meat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper liberally (i.e. use more than you think), inside and out.
- If you’re using a rack a quick spray or a light rub of oil makes clean-up easier.
- Place your meat on the pan (or rack) and put it in the oven. The length of time your meat will need to cook depends on the size of your roast and how well cooked you like your meat. This is where the instant-read thermometer will save the day. Click here for a handy chart and remember to always stick the thermometer in the thick part of your roast (for chicken it’s the thigh).
- When the meat is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. This is not about torturing you or your guests, it’s about letting the juices re-circulate, making the meat tender and juicy.
- Carve, serve and enjoy!
See, wasn’t that easy? What are your best roasting tips?