Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Tips for a Successful Roast Dinner

I've just recently started cooking roast dinners by myself; I've been helping my mum with the family Sunday Roast (rarely on a Sunday!) since I was young, and occasionally did a roast dinner with my housemates whilst at Uni, but I've never been responsible for the whole whack before. It's actually really easy as long as you get your preparation right, so I thought I'd share a few tips to keep everything running smoothly.
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  1. Weigh your meat and check roasting and resting times. Often, this information will be on the packaging if you buy from a supermarket, or there are handy online calculators which will help you work things out.
  2. PLAN. Decide what time you want your meal to be ready, and work out how long everything will take to cook. I mean EVERYTHING - meat, potatoes, veg, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, everything. Write it down. Then you can work out, backwards, what time you need to get things cooking. For example, to serve at 6pm, you might put your meat in at 3.30pm and take it out at 5.30 to rest for half an hour. Your potatoes and tins for Yorkshires might go into the oven as your meat comes out, your carrots would go on about 5.45 as your Yorkshires went into the oven, and your broccoli would go on about 5.55, at which point you make your gravy and carve your meat. Write down a schedule of what time everything needs to happen, and it's surprisingly easy to have everything ready at the same time!
  3. Be realistic. If you only have two shelves in your oven, you won't be able to roast two trays of vegetables plus your meat plus your Yorkshires. Take into account resting times, as this can give you a handy half-hour of oven space - I use this time for my Yorkshire puddings!
  4. Pop your plates in the bottom of the oven for ten minutes. The last thing you want is for your hard work to have gone cold before you can even serve it because you're putting it onto cold plates.
  5. Prepare all your vegetables, so that they're ready to just throw in the steamer or boiling water as their time comes. This means peeling carrots and parsnips, chopping broccoli and cabbage, and making sure it's all thoroughly rinsed. You can also cut down roasting times by par-boiling first; I get my potatoes roasted in about half an hour by boiling them for five minutes beforehand, this way they're cooked through and crispy in less time.
  6. The trick to Yorkshire puddings is to get your oil really hot. I use a silicon muffin tray for mine, pour about 5mm of olive oil into each hole, and heat in the oven for a full 15 minutes before pouring in my batter. Pour the batter in and return to the oven as quickly as you can - the batter should fizz and spit as you pour. After that, keep the oven door SHUT or you risk them sinking.
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Have you ever cooked a roast dinner by yourself? Is it something you'd like to try? Let me know if you have any questions, I'll try to help if I can!

xo

10 comments:

  1. I always love to cook roast dinners and do everything from scratch (other than kill said animal) xx

    http://beautyqueenuk.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Haha yes, that might be taking things a step too far! xo

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  2. Before I moved back home I used to cook a roast dinner every Sunday, it's hard work, especially if you're making your own Yorshires! That's impressive. I used to write all the timings down too xx

    Lucy Loves To Blog

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    1. Haha I don't do it every Sunday, just an occasional treat :) xo

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  3. Oh my gosh!
    I'm at work but this has made me want to rush home to get the oven on!
    Never made Yorkshire Puddings from scratch but would love to try it one day!

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    1. Do it! They're not that hard as long as your oil is super hot and you're super quick :) xo

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  4. I always think I was born in the wrong country as I just have never like roast dinners - people find me weird because of it. Impressive that you can make it all yourself though!

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    1. I agree. You are weird! Haha xo

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  5. looking at the process it looks yummy! you must be a great chef! <3

    Letters To Juliet

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