If you’re planning a dinner party for all your friends and you don’t know what to cook, look no further than a simple roast dinner. Sometimes called a Sunday roast – because is typically served on a Sunday afternoon – the perfect roast dinner is not as hard to cook as you think. Here are some guidelines to get you started.
Prepare Your Veg
Before you do anything in the kitchen, pre-heat your oven, which will give it time to get to the right temperature while you prepare everything else.
Whether you’re planning on roast chicken, beef, or pork, it is important to prepare ahead of time. Concentrate on the vegetables first while the oven is heating up. Wash, peel and chop the vegetables and if you’re serving potatoes, cut them into large pieces and par boil them before putting them in the oven.
Other vegetables to add to a roast include swede which is best cut into chunks and boiled for 30-40 minutes and then mashed. Carrots have to be boiled for around 30 minutes. Smaller vegetables like peas and runner beans are much quicker to cook and should be put on the hob around 15 minutes (for runner beans) and 5 minutes (for peas) before serving.
If you’re feeling really brave, you can also add sprouts to a pan of boiling water, but be aware that not everyone likes these vegetables, so ask your guests before you buy them.
Defeat the meat
Different types of meat and different cuts of the same meat require different cooking techniques and preparation. As a general rule with red meat, such as beef and pork, score the surface of the meat and then rub salt and olive oil into it before you put it in the pre-heated oven.
You can also make red meat more tender by starting the cooking process at a lower temperature and covering the meat with foil. Bring the temperature up slowly as the meat cooks and remove the foil near the end.
Don’t forget the gravy
The last thing you need to think about when you make your perfect roast dinner is the gravy. While some people like to cheat and make it from gravy granules, it’s always best to make it using the juices from the meat.
You can do this by adding flour to the meat drippings in a skillet and then cooking it over a medium heat, while stirring constantly, until it is smooth and light brown, before adding salt, pepper and stock. If you like, you can add milk or cream instead of stock.
Cooking the perfect roast dinner to impress your friends is a lot easier than you think. Just make sure that you take the time to prepare beforehand by pre-heating the oven and chopping up the vegetables and you will be able to serve an amazing roast dinner to all your friends
Image by timlewisnm used under Creative Commons License.