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All-in-One Roasts - All-in-One Roasts

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

All-in-One Roasts

Having a whole meal in one roasting pan couldn’t be easier. Put meat or fish of your choice in the pan, add your favorite vegetables, roast, and you have a whole meal for the family. It’s a great way of cooking mid-week, when you don’t want to use lots of cookware, and makes for minimum-effort Sunday suppers.


4 store cupboard glazes

Grab something from the store cupboard that will add instant flavor to your roast.


Cranberry

Cranberry sauce can be brushed on a variety of meats before roasting. Great with turkey, ham, beef, and chicken.

Mix with bruised rosemary leaves and port to glaze beef. Mix with a splash of soy sauce and crushed juniper berries to glaze venison. Mix with brown sugar and allspice to glaze ham. Mix with orange juice and grated fresh ginger to glaze chicken legs.


Mustard

Coarse-grain mustards aren’t as hot as other mustards and go well with lots of meats.

Mix with soy sauce to glaze duck or spare ribs. Mix with cranberry sauce to glaze chicken. Mix with a splash of balsamic vinegar to glaze beef. Mix with a splash of whiskey to glaze pork. Mix with orange juice to glaze ham.


Honey

Sweet honey has a natural affinity with pork, but is also tasty with chicken and duck.

Mix with apricot jam to glaze pork chops or ribs. Mix with mustard, grated nutmeg, allspice and crushed cloves to glaze ham. Mix with soy sauce and grated fresh ginger to glaze chicken legs. Add a splash of rum for Jamaican flavor. Add a squeeze of lime and grated fresh ginger to glaze duck legs. Mix with pineapple juice and red hot pepper flakes to glaze chicken wings.


Chili sauce

Chili sauce or sweet chili sauce adds sweet and tangy kick to meat and oily fish.

Use to glaze chicken, pork, lamb, beef, duck, mackerel, and salmon. Mix with a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to glaze pork ribs. Mix with a squeeze of lemon or lime to glaze chicken and mackerel. Mix with balsamic vinegar to glaze lamb. Mix with honey and grated fresh ginger to glaze pork ribs.


A simple sausage supper

Sausages are a cheap alternative to using cuts of meat, but can make a succulent and delicious roast, especially now they are available in so many varieties, from simple pork to rich venison, or even wild boar. Experiment with flavored and spiced ones, such as tomato and rosemary, or even vegetarian versions. Brush them with any of the glazes, and add easy-cook vegetables to the roasting pan, such as bell peppers, zucchini, new potatoes, red onions, or squash.


Psst…

Use a heavy stainless steel roasting pan, as it conducts the heat well and won’t buckle. Non-stick ones are easy to clean, but you might miss out on some of the caramelized meat juices that make great sauces and gravies.


Prepare tricky vegetables

Master how to peel, slice, or clean vegetables for roasting.


Shallots

Peeling shallots, part of the onion family, can be awkward and hard on the eyes.

First, blanch the shallots in boiling water, just for a few seconds (as you don’t want them to cook), drain and rinse in cold water, then drain again. The skins should now peel away effortlessly and without tears.


Butternut squash

These can be extremely large and quite tough to deal with.

A large knife is required to cut the squash in half lengthwise. Do this on a sturdy cutting board. Then, trim the top and base and scoop out the seeds. Using a vegetable peeler, peel away the skin, then either slice into thick half-moon shapes or cut up into large cubes.


Leeks

Leeks need washing before using, as the leaves often contain a lot of grit and soil.

Trim the leek by slicing off both ends, then remove any thick outer leaves. Make a slit lengthwise down the leek, being careful not to go right through, then, holding the leaves apart, rinse under cold water.


Fennel

A bulbous vegetable, with a sweet anise flavor that pairs well with fish and pork.

Cut the stalks away from the top of the bulb (keep the fronds for garnish, though, and the stalks for stock). Trim the base and remove any tough outer leaves. Slice as required, quarter lengthwise for roasting, or finely shred if serving raw.


Celery root

This ugly root looks tough, but its velvety flesh is worth the effort.

Celery root requires a large knife, as it can be quite tough. Slice off the top and the base, then work your way around, slicing away the rough outer skin. Try to use it immediately, as the flesh will quickly go brown. To prevent this, rub with a lemon as you go. Cut in half, then half again, then chop into cubes.


More veg prep tips

Whether you are slicing, dicing, or chopping, use the right tools for the job. A sharp chef’s knife and a vegetable peeler are essential.

Do lots of vegetable prep in one go, then bag it up for the refrigerator if using the next day, or freeze it.

The food processor can always be used for shredding; it’s ideal for zucchini or carrots.

Salting eggplants before using reduces their bitterness.

Always wash Swiss chard and spinach thoroughly, as the leaves tend to be gritty, which can spoil a dish.

When preparing cauliflower, cut up the florets, but don’t discard the green leaves, as these are extremely tasty.

When cooking fava beans, remove them from their pods and cook them very briefly, for about 30 seconds, then drain and peel away the thicker outer skin. The bright green bean inside is delicious and soft.


Make the perfect gravy

A delicious sauce for roast meat, made straight from the roasting pan.

Once the meat has been removed from the pan, tilt the pan and spoon away most of the fat, leaving a small amount with the remaining cooking juices.

Place the roasting pan over medium heat, then 3/4 cup of dry white wine and stir to loosen and scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Pour in 2 cups of hot stock, still stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. It will begin to come clean.

Let the gravy bubble and reduce for a few minutes, allowing the alcohol to evaporate and the sauce to thicken, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a conical sieve in a large heatproof container, then strain the gravy through the sieve. You can repeat this step, if you wish.


Psst…

Save all vegetable trimmings and peelings, and add them to the pan while making the sauce, then strain. Or, save them for the stockpot. They will add flavor.


4 gravies

More easy sauces to accompany your meat.


White wine gravy

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over low heat, remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix to a roux, then return to the heat and slowly pour in a little hot chicken stock, taken from 1 cup hot stock, then add 3/4 cup of dry white wine and simmer for a few minutes. Add the rest of the stock and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add a squeeze of lemon juice or chopped fresh tarragon. Serve with chicken.


Red wine gravy

After cooking roast beef, remove the meat then skim away most of the fat, leaving a small amount for flavor. Place pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir, then add 3/4 cup of red wine and throw in a sprig of fresh rosemary. Keep stirring, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan, then add a little hot vegetable or chicken stock and continue stirring and adding, until it thickens, allowing it to boil a little to reduce. Season well, and serve as it is, or strain first.


Beef gravy

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan, then add a few pieces of bacon and cook until golden brown. Stir in a teaspoon of tomato purée, then remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Add a little hot beef stock, taken from 2 cups, then put back over the heat, and continue stirring and adding until it reaches the required consistency. Cook for a few minutes to thicken, and add a little port at the end of cooking, if you wish. Season, strain, and serve with beef.


Chicken gravy

After cooking roast chicken, remove the meat from the pan, then skim away most of the fat, leaving a small amount for flavor. Put the pan over medium heat, then add 2 cups of hot chicken stock, stirring to loosen bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a few fresh thyme sprigs and season. Allow it to cook for a few minutes, then strain and serve with chicken.

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