I Roast My Case!
We can learn to be cooks, but we must be born knowing how to roast-said the French culinary philosopher Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
Closet cooks have famously shied away from Roasting meats. What is it about Roasting that has solicited reactions ranging from fear of the unknown (process!) to plain discomfort thinking about the commitment to technique?
Today, we bust a few myths. Reveal a few tips. So even you can take pride in the aromas wafting off the oven!
The Reason to Season
A good roast starts with meat that has been seasoned well. When the roast tantalizes your taste buds long after you’ve had it, you know it’s been seasoned well. Popular seasonings for meat are salt, pepper, herbs and spices.
Chef’s tip: Beginners, pick out three seasonings per dish until you understand the pairings well.
How to season: Rub the mixture over the meat and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Fascination with Marination
Unlike seasoning, marinades have a liquid base and go the whole hog to tenderize meat. A marinade usually has three components-an acid (like lime or vinegar), an oil (olive or mustard oil) and the flavouring (read seasoning!)
How to marinate: Use a ceramic dish covered with a cling film and refrigerate. (Lean meats like fish fillet and chicken need about 2 hours of marination. Larger cut red meats may need to be marinated for 24 hours or more. Read more about marinating meats here.
Brine, to make the meat fine!
How to brine: Soak meats in a solution of salt and water. The basic ratio of salt to water for brining a whole chicken is 4 tablespoons of salt dissolved in 4 cups of warm water.
What it does: Brining meats helps keep moisture. No one likes to have dry, chewy meats now, do they? Brining amplifies flavours and prevents shrinkage of the meat.
Sear without Fear
Yes, you do need to use a bit of oil to brown the meat before roasting. Health aficionados, you may skip this step. Roast connoisseurs, please don’t!
How it’s done: Heat oil in a hot pan to quick-fry the meat in a very high temperature. The point is to brown the meat on all sides.
What it does: Searing lends an appetizing colour and savoury texture to the meat.
What it doesn’t do? Contrary to popular belief, searing does not conserve meat juices.
Baste without Haste
How it’s done: Brush or drizzle pan juices over the meat as you cook.
Remember the marinating paste left over? Put it to good use here!
Continuous basting, every 15 minutes gives great results!
Chef’s tip: Basting oil can be frozen to make meat butter-use it later for pan-cooking meats!
What it does: Adds flavour to the crust of the roast.
Let it rest, so you get the Best
Hold on (Although we understand how difficult it would be to keep your hands off the Roast)!
Cover the roast with aluminium foil and let it sit out for a while. The sweet spot for resting roasts is about 15-20 minutes. Lamb chops or fillets can be allowed to rest for about 5 minutes.
What it does: Redistributes flavours and helps them settle inside the roast.
Can’t wait to get started?
Don your chef hat now and get ready to roast!