Meat + Heat+ basting = roast meat

Illustration for Roast Chicken RecipesRoasting is simply cooking meat in an oven at a fairly high temperature, ideally raised out of the juices that collect in the bottom of the tin to form gravy. So you could put a trivet (specially designed for the job) in the bottom of your roasting in, or a cake rack, or a few rib bones, or you could bung some bits of onion underneath and hope for the best. This is my most usual approach.

Here’s what we’re going to do:

  • Bring the meat to room temp
  • Pat the meat dry with kitchen towels
  • Add a little extra fat if necessary and season with salt and pepper
  • Cook in a hot oven basting  occasionally
  • Rest the meat
  • Add liquid and possibly a thicken to the juices to make a sauce

In general red meat roasts at 350F or higher

Poultry roasts at 400F or higher

Work on the principle of 30 minutes per pound (500g-ish). If stuffing is involved, add another 30 mins.

This will cook red meat rare. Take the meat out and rest tented in foil for 15 – 20 mins to let the juices come back into the center. For medium rare meat turn off the oven and leave the roast sitting there resting for 20 mins.

The US Department of Agriculture publishes this helpful list of meat temperatures. Invest in a meat thermometer, and remember that meat will continue to cook after it is taken out of the oven, that over cooked meat is not especially delicious, and that the US Department of Agriculture is erring on the side of caution because it doesn’t want to get sued. Still, neither do I, so I reproduce it for you in entirety.

  • Ground beef, veal, lamb or pork – 160F 71C
  • Beef, veal or lamb steaks, roasts or chops – medium / rare 145F 63C, medium 160F 71C, well done 170F 77C
  • Pork roasts steak or chops – medium/rare 160F 71C, well done 170F 77C
  • Whole chicken or turkey – 180F 82C (take temp in the thickest point of the thigh), or until the juice from the thigh runs clear.
  • Chicken or turkey breasts – 170F 77C, or until the juice from the thigh runs clear

Don’t be freaked out by the math. It’s only meat in an oven. It’s really nothing to be scared of.

And if you can make that, you can make this:

What do you want to make?