Sunday, 12 December 2010

Arctic weather = roast meat! :)

If anybody has been reading or watching the news during the last month, you will know that we've been having some "exceptional" weather (aka. a shed load of snow) in Blighty. The snow looked pretty on the 1st day but unfortunately, it came with bitingly cold winds and before long, I was wishing that it would go away!! On the bright side, it did inspire me to do a bit of  "hearty" cooking at home in the form of roasts, which are perfect for this kind of weather. I had forgotten how straightforward the whole process is: season your meat and pop into the oven for an hour or so and voilà! some pretty tasty, hot meat! Prepare a few sides as accompaniments and you have one scrummy dinner to tuck into!! :)
Roast chicken - all I did to prep was pop a few cloves of garlic plus a bunch of thyme into the carcass. The body was then smeared with some soft butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. This is the result after being for an hour or so, yum! :)

 Simple sides of sauteed spinach and roasted hasselback spuds (these are new potatoes  which have slight cuts into them. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a different tray and roast at the same time as your meat for some delicious, simple roast spuds)

 Roast lamb with garlic and rosemary (best to marinate overnight in the fridge before roasting for maximum flavour - I only had a couple of hours but that also worked)

  Sides of sauteed broccolli, roast parsnips and yep, hasselback spuds (warning, the spuds are very addictive so best to make more than less!)

I have to be honest and say that I am only a proficient cook therefore I usually don't bother with any gravy for roasts. Having said this, I still managed to rustle up a little bit of jus for my lamb which was particularly tasty!! Its very simple.....put your meat on another plate to rest, stick your roasting tin on the hob to heat up. We had no stock or wine handy so I added a touch of hot water to deglaze and scrape all the crusty bits off the pan. I didn't even need cornflour cos after a few minutes of simmering, I had a small but delicious and effortless amount of jus to go with my lamb, yay! :) 

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