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Roast dinner

April 1, 2009 | Filed under How to...

The Sunday Roast served with lashings of crispy roast potatoes kumara, pumpkin and parsnip is a long standing New Zealand tradition. And do make pan gravy from the drippings in the roasting pan.

Lamb, beef, chicken or pork are favourite choices.  There is a wide range of ‘cuts’ or ‘joints’ of each of these.

Once you have decided what meat you are going to roast, heat the oven to 150-160°C.

Pour a small amount (probably about ¼ cup) of cooking oil into a large metal pan and place the meat in the pan.  It’s best to use a light flavoured oil such as canola or sunflower. (The solid ‘dripping’ or ‘lard’ that we used to use is out of fashion nowadays due to bad press about cholesterol).

Put the pan into the hot oven.

The cooking time depends on the cut of the meat, how well you want it cooked.  Beef and lamb have more flavour when cooked ‘rare’ or pink in the middle when served. Chicken and pork must be well cooked right through.

Cooking times are roughly:

Lamb – leg or shoulder 1.5 – 2 hours
Chicken 1 – 1.5 hours
Pork – leg or shoulder 2-5 – 3 hours
Beef from 30 minutes per kg of beef

You may need to experiment a bit with your own oven to get the times right for you and your household.  Beef is particularly personal as cooking times also depend on how rare you like your beef.

While the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables for roasting.

Roast vegetables

Choose a selection of 2-3 root vegetables – potato, kumara, pumpkin, parsnip are the most common.

All these vegetables really need to be peeled, though if the pumpkin skin is tough you may want to leave it on during cooking and let people peel it off when it is on their plate and much softer.

When you have peeled the vegetables, cut them into evenly sized pieces so they will be cooked at roughly the same time.

Place the vegetables in the roasting pan around the meat and make sure each piece has a light coating of fat or oil.

Alternatively if you don’t want too much fat in your meal, coat the vegetables with a light covering of oil and place them on a wire rack on a separate dish in the oven.

The roast vegetables will need up to 45 minutes depending on the size of each piece.  After about 20 minutes, take the vegetables out of the oven and use a spatula or tongs to turn each piece in the pan so they are evenly browned all over.

When the time is up, take the meat from the oven and put on to a warm plate or dish and cover with aluminium foil and leave for 15 minutes to ‘rest”.  If you do this the meat will be more tender and tastier.  It also gives you time to cook any vegetables that need 10-15 mins on the stovetop.

You can also turn the oven temperature up a few notches to give the roasted vegetables a crispy boost for 10 – 15 mins.

Timing is one of the problem areas with a roast dinner.

Here’s a tip.

If your meat will take 2 hours to cook then it will need 15 minutes to rest.  SO you put your roast vegetables on 30 minutes before you plan to take the meat out of the oven.

At the same time as you take the meat out of the oven, start to cook the vegetables (such as broccoli, peas or beans) on the stove top.

The ‘greens’ will take less than 15 minutes so time these carefully so you don’t get overcooked soggy greens.

You can also make the gravy at this time.

Slice the meat into portions and serve with roasted and steamed vegetables and pan gravy.


3 Responses to “Roast dinner”

  1. carolyn on March 6th, 2011 5:36 pm


  2. Tracy (@fromthekiwigirl) on November 19th, 2011 12:11 am

    Hi found you through Kaz Cooke’s book “Women’s Stuff”.
    Love a ‘how to’ blog 🙂

  3. Judy on November 23rd, 2011 12:50 pm

    Hi Tracy

    A how to blog is coming up just as soon as I get a bit more time. I’d love to hear from you about what you want to know ‘How to…”
    Cheers, Judy

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