Let’s do some cooking! As in life timing is everything. A roast diner!
First and fore most you will need to know how to cook meat. A beef roast is a good place to start but pork can be used instead. Either or is fine. For this exercise I will be using an inside round roast but any roast will do unless it is what is call a pot roast. Pot roasts are seared and stewed in a liquid and are also a great comfort food
Find out how much your roast weighs and then we can go from there. Say your roast weighs 5 kg’s, each kilo has 2.2046 lbs to it. 5×2.2046= 11.023 lbs of roast. Now we have to figure out how you and your family want to have it cooked. * Do not poke a roast while cooking this will only allow juices to run out and leave the roast dry and with less flavour. I use the term poke with a fork only at the end of the cooking time.
Rare roast beef is when the roast is warm in the middle but still raw and cooked on the out side. it will bleed and send out a lot of juices. This roasts juices will run red when poked with a fork. Cooking time is 10 minutes per lb plus 10 minutes
Medium rare is when the inside is pink and happens just after the rare stage. This roasts juices will run pink when poked with a fork. Cooking time here is 12 minutes per lb plus 12 minutes
Medium is when the meat is cooked right through but still contains a lot of the juices and the colour remains constant though out. The juices from this roast will run clear. Time here is 15 minutes per lb plus 15 minutes
Medium well is when the meat is aloud to go past the medium stage and the juices now begin to be incorporated into the meat. What juice there is will run clear. Cooking time here is 17 minutes plus 17 minutes
Well done is when all of the juices have been absorbed by the cooking and the roast. Very little juice will flow when poked with a fork. And here it is 20 minutes per lb plus 20 minutes.
Now that we have defined the different stages of the roast we now must consider what temperature it will be cooked at. I find that a low medium heat is best because it will help the meat relax when cooking. 325 degrees is a good place to start. Place you oven rack in the middle position in the oven and pre heat the oven to the prescribed temperature above.
Per season your roast outside of you roaster with crushed garlic, fresh ground pepper, thyme, and salt. Sea salt is great to use because it will leave a crust on the meat after it is cooked. Apply the garlic with you hand and cover the whole roast with it, again with the pepper and thyme. The salt is a matter of choice, if you like a salty taste then apply what you think is right all over the roast. Remove the skin from one medium onion and trim the ends. Slice the onion into ½ inch slices and place these on the bottom of the roaster. Here is where you can add beer or a nice dry red wine to the roaster adding just enough to cover the onions. Beef stock can also be added here. Remember we made that a bit ago. Place the roast in the pan and place it in the middle of the oven uncovered. Close the door and do some math for a medium roast. We have an 11.023lb roast at 15 minutes per lb = 168.45 minutes. 60 minutes to the hour will give you a cooking time of 2.8075 or approximately 2 and ¾ hours to the end product. At this temperature the liquid will evaporate so you will need to check it from time to time and add more liquid to the roaster. Water can be used here because it is just revitalizing the drippings and flavours you have sitting in the bottom of the pan. Save the drippings because this is what you are going to make the gravy from. Remove the roast from the pan and let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving it. This will allow the roast to set the juices in the meat and not run all over the cutting board when you cut it.
While the roast is cooking you have time to make some side dishes. Roast potatoes are great here. Peel and quarter one and ½ potatoes per person placing each in cold water. In a pan used in the oven cover the pan with oil and place the potatoes in the pan use sea salt and pepper to season the spuds, other seasoning can be used here if you like such as garlic, nutmeg and thyme. You can pouch the potatoes in beef stock or chicken stock before placing them in the roasting pan. Only pouch them until they still have what I will call a bone in them, hot but firm. Make sure they are dry before placing them in the roasting pan and season them as above. Quarter potatoes take approximately 30 minutes to cook so time your addition to the oven accordingly.
Carrots are another great addition to this meal. Peel and remove the top and bottom of the carrot. Cut the carrot in half and in half again length ways so you have long ¼ carrots. Now cut those into 3” strips and par boil them. Par boiling is done with salted boiling water, twice as much as is needed to cover the product you are par boiling. Place the pot of water on the burner placing it on high heat. When the water is at a fast boil drop the carrots into the water. When it comes back to the boil again remove the pot and place it under cold running water and let it run until the carrots are cold. Remove them from the water and place them either in a roasting pan covering the bottom with butter or in a sauce pan to finish. Do not start this until the roast is out of the oven and resting. Now that all of the other things are done you can start your carrots. In the oven the carrots will only take 15 minutes to be fully cooked. You could have thrown them in with the roast 15 minutes before taking the roast out or finish them separately. Finishing them separately is done with only enough water to cover the bottom of you sauce pan. One tea spoon of butter is added to the water per person and the carrots are placed in the pan. Over a medium heat place a lid on the pot and look for steam. When it begins to steam remove the lid. Dill is a great herb to use here as well as golden sugar or honey. If sugar or honey is used it should be allowed to cook for a few moments to marry the flavours. Finish the carrots with this. Use a little salt to taste.
The gravy is made from the pan drippings. Place the roaster with the dripping back on a burner and turn it to medium heat. If you have watched it closely you should have enough liquid left without adding any more to it. If not then add some here, beef stock or brown stock and not water will do. This is where we use a roux. A brown roux is used here. When the liquid comes to a boil take a whisk and place a small amount on the end of it. Stir it into the boiling liquid. Let it cook for a moment before adding more. DO this until you have reached the consistency you would like. I make mine so it holds on the back of a ladle but not to thick. Let it cook out for at least 10 to 15 minutes and serve it with the meal. A lemon or orange chiffon for desert will do nicely here because of the heavy main course; I will cover this next time.