If the temperature on a Perth Christmas Day isn’t enough to make you break out in a sweat, then the pressure of delivering the perfect roast just might. Fear not! We’ve got your back with these simple tips for getting your roast to the festive table to rousing applause.
Bring your Meat to Room Temperature
Take your meat out of the fridge at least half an hour before it goes into your pre-heated oven. Cooking from room temperature will take the chill out of the meat and allow a more consistent cook.
Invest in a Meat Thermometer
Remove the guess-work and try a meat thermometer when tackling the Christmas dinner. It will let you know when your cut of meat is cooked to your liking. Do not consider this cheating, simply great planning.
Don’t Skip the Stuffing
Go the extra mile and make a fruity, nut and herb laden stuffing to fill the centre of your roast rolled chicken, turkey, lamb or beef. It is Christmas, after all! Stuffings add texture, flavour and colour and can help keep the meat succulent through the cooking process. Make sure the stuffing mix starts out moist as it will lose some of its liquid during the cook.
Everyone knows you only roast pork for the crackling! To achieve a crisp crackling on roast pork, there are a few simple rules to follow. Start by preparing the skin, which should be as dry as possible. Carefully score it at intervals of about 1cm to 2cm with a sharp knife or a Stanley knife.
To help open up the cuts, pour boiling water over the skin (avoiding the flesh), then pat it dry with absorbent paper or a clean tea towel. Season it with plenty of sea salt, rubbing it into the cuts to draw out moisture. If you have the time, you can dry the skin even further by leaving the pork uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
Seal in the Juices
For leaner lamb and beef roasts, rub the meat all over with oil and sear the outside in a hot pan before roasting. This stops juices escaping during the cooking process and keeps your roast moist. The caramelisation of the meat also adds flavour.
Allow Some Wriggle Room
Slow cooking your Christmas centrepiece allows more room for error. If you have a lot going on, or you’re not feeling super confident in the kitchen, try a slow-cooked shoulder of lamb or pork belly, rather than an eye fillet, which needs precise timing.
‘Tis The Season
Salt your meat, then salt it some more. Like a lot! The End.
Gilbert’s Fresh, Hilton, is offering a beautiful range of uncooked ready to roast meats for the festive season. For those preferring to take any guesswork out of the preparation, Gilbert’s also offer the option of picking up Christmas meats cooked to perfection, ready for a quick blast in the oven just before you serve. Peruse our Christmas Online Shop or pop by in store to grab our Butcher’s rolled and stuffed free-range chicken, turkey and pork roasts.
Images: Nick Thake and Styling: Kate Flowe.