How to cook the perfect roast dinner

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If you’re in the mood for a roast dinner you’re in the right place. It’s a firm favourite of ours, especially when the family visits. We have gradually refined our methods to deliver the perfect roast dinner every time. Here’s how we do it.

Perfect roast dinner meat

For many, meat is the centrepiece of a roast dinner. Whether it’s beef, lamb, chicken or pork, it needs to be cooked right if it’s to deliver. We take several popular types of meat and show you how to cook them properly. With any of these, you can choose to cook your vegetables with the meat or on a separate tray, it’s entirely up to you.

Beef

Take your meat out of the refrigerator and cover for at least an hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 200C. Put the beef on a roasting tray and put it in the oven. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, carve then serve.

Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the meat and your oven. Typical cooking times are 41 minutes per 500g of meat for rare, 44 for medium and 46 minutes for well done. If you’re cooking your meat on a bed of vegetables, add 15-20 minutes to the total cooking time.

Pork

Use a good quality loin, belly or leg for roasting and follow the same cooking method as beef. Allow 25 minutes per 500g of meat plus 25 minutes. This might vary depending on your oven. Allow to rest the same as for beef.

Chicken

For chicken, use a quality free range chicken, bring up to room temperature and cook thoroughly. Cooking times can vary, but 20 minutes per 500g plus 15 minutes is a good place to start. Coat the skin with butter for a lovely crispy finish!

Lamb

Lamb needs a slightly cooler oven, around 180C. Cook in a roasting tin and allow 30 minutes per 500g for medium, 30-35 minutes for well done. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Perfect roast vegetables

It is quick and easy to cook the perfect roast vegetables. Simply prepare the veg by cleaning them, topping, tailing and peeling. Make sure all the vegetables are roughly the same size so they all cook at the same rate. Cover in oil, put in a roasting tin, season to taste and add to a preheated oven and cook for around 40 minutes. Give the pan a good shake halfway through to ensure even cooking.

You can also roast vegetables in the base of the same tin you cook your meat. Make sure there is plenty of room between vegetables and allow for a longer cooking time for everything.

Perfect roast potatoes

Making the perfect roast potatoes is an art in itself but an easy one to master. Use floury potatoes for best effect, Cut them into roughly equal sizes and add to salted boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove and drain. Shake in a colander to rough up the exterior.

While the potatoes are simmering, add a roasting tin with some oil at the bottom into a preheated oven at around 200C. Once the potatoes have steamed most of the moisture away, take out the tray and carefully add the potatoes. Cover them with oil, season, and then put the tin back in the oven. Cook for a further 45 minutes or until they are golden brown.

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