Sunday, July 03, 2005

Roast pork

Traditional Roast pork

I made this roast pork some time ago, I think since then there has also been a roast chicken and a roast lamb. But this one was the only one I had the chance to photograph. It is very simple in its appearance which is in fact what I was aiming for. I am no expert in roasting having only ventured into making a roast by myself after my good friend P and his English ex-pat wife stayed with us and treated us to roast pork and roast beef with yorkshire pudding last winter.

They really got me over my apprehension about roasting I have also viewed it as quite a logistical nightmare, ensuring everything was golden brown, meat perfectly cooked and presented piping hot to the table with a steamy jug of gravy.

I have reached my idealised roast heights yet, but I am getting there and am moving out of entirely novice territory. I have made a habit of roasting at least once on the weekend now that it is cool. Roast pork and crackling is one of P's favourites. I have fallen into a habit of roasting a minimum of vegetables, potato, carrots, pumpkin. This time I added parsnip and some baked garlic. For green vegetables I simply use some frozen baby peas and I make my gravy from the drippings left in the baking tray.

I also bake my meat on a rack and ensure there is water in the base of the tray at all times so the meat is never dry. When roasting pork I rub the pieces with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Hasselback is my preferred style of potato. The Hasselback potato involves cutting a peeled potato in half and using small slices almost all the way through the potato. I employ a hint that I read somewhere which ensures that you don't end up cutting too far through the potato and end up with quarters instead. I line the half potato between two chop sticks and that way the chop sticks form a barrier and prevent the knife slicing through.

I have become better with browning my vegetables since taking this last photgraph as my son insists on "golden roast potatoes". Last week when roasting some lamb, I par-cooked the hasselback potatoes in the microwave and coated them with some seasoned plain flour and splashed some garlic infused olive oil over them. Plus I cooked them on baking paper.

With the pumpkin and carrots I also coated them with seasoned flour splashed them with the garlic infused olive oil and cooked them on baking paper and put them in some time after the potatoes so I could ensure the pumpkin was not over cooked.

What I love about my adventures with roasting is that I am becoming much more expert at roasting the vegetables in conjunction with the meat and being able to serve an entirely warm meal to everyone at the table. I have always had so much trouble coordinating the final parts of the roast but practice in roasting appears to truly make perfect or at least better.

My ambition is to do that roast beef with my own yorkshire pudding I feel that will be the true test of my roasting skills, I would love to hear of anyone's adventures with roasting beef and what a good cut to use is, plus any hints on yorkshire puddings.

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.