Ah the many faces of a roast dinner…loads of veges, condiments and sauces, but what of the protein? Which one to choose for your banquet?? Will it be beef or pork, chicken or fish? This classic dish must deliver the goods for every palate, so who’s to say that fish is heresy? And no; beef need not be the only flesh to be carved. Sometime a good chook does the trick…
The ideal roasting meat should be many things. It needs to be moist (byword for ‘fat’), tender (must must must avoid overcooking) and tasty (some might say this rules out dull chicken breast). Next: textural contrasts should feature heavily. Salty, crunchy, crisped skin alternating with melting-moment flesh. It should be visceral and require active cutting and chewing.
Chicken skin is a rare pleasure, but the meat is often hard to get through. Fish skin is a horror if not seasoned properly but the dense white flesh beneath, flaking to the touch, is tastebud heaven. A slow-cooked leg of lamb joyously falls apart at the fork, but where’s the fun sheets of crispy fat?
Goodness; the choice. And I err toward beef: a hunk of precious meat cocooned in an inch of its own fat. To get it’s exterior browned and infused with smokey flavours, give it a blast of high-temperature cooking. This way the fat should crisp sensationally and the finished meat will be a treasure trove of taste sensations, with rare segments through to the well-done; sweet and deeply savoury flavours coming at you in every bite.
Now, rest your roast meat. Just let it rest. But no resting for you. Off you go: roast your veges! Think root vegetables, carrots, onions, potatoes. Brussel sprouts do well here too.
When its feeding time round the table, aim for slices of meat around 3mm – 5mm in thickness; enough mass to discern taste and thin enough to add to a fork already loaded with those freshly roasted vegetables. Well done to you! Bon Appétit to you all.