Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

04 March 2010

The Year of the Roast - the Baseline

It's been far too hot all year to be thinking about roast dinners around here.  But now that we find ourselves in Autumn (not that the change in season is apparent as yet), it will soon be time to start thinking about roasts.  Particularly as I declared 2010 to be the Year of the Roast.  So this is what I can do at the moment...

I can roast meat in the oven - I've done them in oven bags and in baking trays.
I can roast vegetables in the oven - and have done this often, especially as a first step for delicious soups.
I can roast meat in the microwave.  Yes!  True!  Lamb is especially good done this way.  It looks like nothing is happening and then all of a sudden it browns up just at the end and it's delicious.  It does create quite a lot of cleaning up though.
I can do the meat in the microwave and then do these frozen vegies in the oven and have it all ready at the same time.

They aren't THE nicest vegies in the world but the benefit is that they have very specific instructions on the back of the pack in terms of timing.  And microwaving the meat has the meat cooked at a predictable time too.

So really, all I can't do is roast meat and vegetables in the oven at the same time - in order to have everything cooked and ready at the same time.  I have tried to do both together once or twice and ended up with half cooked vegies.  And felt stressed. 

The aim is to learn to cook the meat and the vegetables, in the oven, rendering them all cooked at the same time and find myself at the table with a fully cooked meal, including gravy, without feeling like I am about to have a stroke!

I only have one oven rack so it will all have to be done in the one baking tray.

So once the temperature has dropped below 30 degrees (celsius) on a consistent basis, I shall be reading up my Jamie Oliver books.  He can pretty much take the credit for the rest of my culinary skills so he may as well get me up to speed in this area too.  And I shall also heed the good advice from dear person who commented here - although maybe not so far as the goose fat!  Any other good tips warmly accepted.

I'll keep you posted.


Helen said...

Daz is the Roast Cooker in our relationship! I'll ask him for some words of wisdom! I'm amazed you can microwave a lamb roast!! Not as in you can't cook but didn't think that would be possible!

Meredith said...

Glad you clarified that last point! But yes, I was pretty amazed as well!

Sharon said...

We had a beef roast for dinner Saturday night. Mind you, Sunday night was HJs!

I have found that the trick to getting vegies and meat to cook to the right time together is to pre-cook the vegies. While the roast is already in, I boil the potatoes, sweet potato &/or pumpkin on the stove top. It is sometimes handy to boil the potatoes for a little bit before putting the pumpkin in, since pumpkin cooks faster. Then, when the potatoes et al are starting to get soft, but not yet dissolving, I drain them, whack 'em on an oven tray along with some quartered onion, spray with cooking oil, shake over some mixed herbs or dhuka mix, and put them in the oven. The time it takes to caramelise the onion is about the same time it takes to golden up the potatoes. I do this all in the last hour the roast is in.

If the vegies aren't quite brown enough when the roast comes out, the heat can be raised in the oven while the meat is "resting" on the bench or being carved, or the gravy prepared; then they will be perfect to serve when the plates are ready for them!

Well, it worked on Saturday, anyway!

Meredith said...

Thanks Sharon. That is exactly the type of instruction I need!! Perfect. That last tip about turning up the heat at the end of the vegies aren't quite ready while the meat relaxes is really good. Just as well we now have this stage of relaxing the meat, that didn't used to be in our cooking armoury.

Well, I'm all keen to get going now. I just need the temperature to drop. Thanks.