A few weeks ago I wrote about the cooking technique baking. Roasted and baking are basically interchangeable cooking techniques. Rule of thumb when deciding whether you should roast or bake something, baking is for cakes, pies, cookies, etc… and roasting is for proteins or vegetables.
I find roasting is one of the easiest ways to cook meat or fish, particularly larger cuts such as a beef roast or whole fish. I prefer to roast meat or fish at a lower temperature oven, between 300 – 325 as it provides a more tender and juicer piece of meat. To achieve a nice browned crust I like to sear the meat before placing into the oven for a slow roast. Browning the outside will help seal the juices which results in a lot of flavor. I do this either at a higher temperature in the oven or on the stove-top before placing the meat into the oven. My decision on which way to sear is really based on how I feel that day.
I apply the same basic principles for roasting to all forms of meat or fish.
- I choose a good cut of meat that appears moist but not too wet.
- Preheat the oven to desired temperature.
- Season the meat with a light rub of olive oil and salt and pepper. Occasionally I may stuff a roast or leg of lamb with cloves of garlic before roasting. Or rub the outside of a ham with some rosemary. Even stuff a whole fish with lemons or basil. A rule of thumb, if you have purchased a choice piece of meat, the seasonings should be simple so the flavors shine.
- If I am going to sear the meat first, I do so now, if not I just slide it into the oven and let the magic happen.
- Place the meat or fish into a shallow roasting pan on a rack. If roasting meat with a bone in, a rack is not needed.
- I roast the meat until it is 5 degrees under the recommended temperature, as it will continue cooking for 10 – 15 minutes once removed from the oven. This tip prevents the meat or fish from becoming dry. Use a meat thermometer.
Following are some charts that list the temperatures you should use as a guideline when roasting meat.
Have fun with roasting different types of meat or fish, the possibilities are endless.