December is definitely one of the best months to prepare a roast for your family dinner. Whether it’s chicken, turkey, pork, lamb or beef, the savory aroma of a well-prepared roast takes you back to some of the best meals you’ve ever had. Roasts just have a way of making memories. Maybe it’s because we often reserve roasts for large family meals or special occasions, or maybe, they’re just THAT good!
Admittedly, roasts require a slightly larger investment of your time. From the initial pre-heating of your oven to the final slicing, a typical roast takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours. That’s more time than most people are willing to wait to eat once they’ve come home from work, so many people prepare their roasts on a weekend evening.
Having said that, whenever you decide to prepare a roast, it’s time well spent. Even more so once you’ve invested those few short moments to season and get that roast in the oven. It leaves you plenty of time afterwards to do OTHER important things, like relax or maybe enjoy a glass of wine.
And to make that investment pay off with delicious dividends, I’ve prepared Nino’s Roasting Tips, a rather comprehensive guide to the dos and don’ts of roasting.
My easy-to-read, easy-to-follow tips will help you create the perfect roast you pictured in your mind when you first saw that piece of meat in the butcher shop and then imagined it on your dinner table.
In the guide, I have the how to’s on everything from how much to buy, how to prepare, and how to season to how to roast, and finally and MOST importantly, how to know when it’s done!
The only thing you’ll be left to answer is “How did I do without these tips for so many years?”
I also have a guide titled Marinades and Rubsthat gives you additional information to help you glam your lamb or other meats with an additional complement of flavor or spice.
And when it comes time to pick out that perfect roast, stop by Nino’s in-store, full-service butcher shop, where you’ll find a terrific variety of roasts to choose from.
We’ll help you to pick a roast that’s just right for your dinner and offer you any additional advice you need. You can also pick up any additional supplies you need, ranging from marinades and rubs to stuffing mixes and your favorite condiments.
Last month, we rolled out the Nino’s welcome mat and asked what YOU’D like to know.
What culinary question is awaiting our answer?’
What cooking tip would make your recipe a success?
What kitchen secret has eluded you?
Which gastronomic secrets are still left unknown in the universe?
From burnt toast (sorry Nino’s office staff) to fallen soufflés and broken sauces, we’re here to help you solve those small (and not so small) challenges that have (up until now) gone unresolved.
Well guess what? We put out the word, and YOU came through! Thanks for your suggestions!
Our first “You Asked for It” question comes from Heather L. from Youngstown, Ohio. Now THAT’S a loyal Nino’s customer! She says, “I love a good, rare roast beef. I have in mind eating it freshly cooked then having leftovers for sandwiches and salads. I have tried a number of times with a number of recipes, different cooking temperature systems, etc. using block roasts, rump roasts, chuck roasts and have never been completely pleased with the results. How do you do a basic roast beef?”
Well Heather, “YOU ASKED FOR IT.” Might this month be more appropriately titled “What’s Your Beef?”
First, let me begin by saying that it’s quite likely that you’ve been doing some things right. In this case, however, I’m guessing that the small things you are doing wrong are making ALL the difference in your results.
Let’s start first with the meat:
If you’re looking for a roast beef dinner and sandwiches for later, you really need to start with a muscle that is relatively tender. That immediately excludes Chuck, Eye of the Round, Bottom Round, Flank, Brisket or any other muscle that the animal uses for locomotion or that gets A LOT of exercise.
You CAN use a Rump Roast but ONLY if it’s cut from the TOP Round ONLY. Fortunately for you, that’s what we have at Nino’s. Other great choices include Sirloin Roast, Rib Roasts, and (I probably don’t have to even tell you) Tenderloin Roasts. The least expensive of ALL these choices will likely be the Top Round Rump Roast, so I’ll use this as an example because all your other choices in this category will only be more tender.
After you have selected your meat and are ready to cook it, you’re going to do two things:
Apply a DRY rub. I like Char-Crust® Original Rub. And you’re going to apply it liberally to the surface of the entire roast.
Heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Then spray the exterior of your rubbed roast with some vegetable spray and sear it on all sides (about 3 to 4 minutes per side) until it has a nice brown color.
Now that your meat has a nice brown color, you don’t need to roast it at a high temperature to GET that color, which means you can roast it as low as 275 F. This will accomplish two things:
It will increase the yield and minimize the loss of juices, which makes the meat (of course) more juicy and tender.
It will provide more of an edge-to-edge doneness of rare to medium rare rather than a large ring of medium-well doneness, with a smaller core of what you really enjoy.
Place your roast on a rack in a roasting pan. This will allow your roast to get a full circulation of convected air rather sitting on the pan’s metal surface and cooking unevenly.
Depending on your personal preference of doneness, roast until the internal temperature of the meat is 5 F less than you want. Then remove it from the oven, and let the carryover heat (kind of a heat inertia) take it up to your final cooked temperature.
Therefore, if you want medium-rare (140 F), remove the roast from the oven when the internal temperature is 135 F, and it will continue to rise about 5 more degrees while it rests. Resting is another key. You should let your meat sit AT LEAST 10 minutes before you carve it. This will allow the meat tissue to reabsorb some of the juices and give you a juicer piece of meat.
One last point on the roasting part: Invest in an “Insta-Read” thermometer, which (as the name suggests) will quickly and accurately read the meat’s internal temperature, so you will know exactly when it’s done.
For more information on meat doneness, Nino’s has a Roasting Guideon our website, which can give you the correct temperatures for all sorts of meats.
Finally, how you carve your roast can also improve its tenderness.
As you move down from Beef Tenderloin to its somewhat less-tender alternatives, you ALSO have to slice your roast thinner. For example, Tenderloin can be sliced at nearly 2 inches thick and still be tender, Rib-Eye (Prime Rib) at 1 to 1 ½ inches, and Sirloin at an inch or so. But when you get down to Top Round, I recommend ¼-inch thick when enjoyed hot and half that thick (1/8 inch) when sliced cold for sandwiches.
Okay, here you have it! You have more than enough roasting knowledge to make a dangerously delicious dinner and some sandwiches the next day.
Thank you, Heather, for your great question. We’re going to send you an I Love Nino’s Apron and a $25.00 Nino’s gift card for your enjoyment.
If you have a cooking question, just leave a comment below. I do my best to answer all of your questions promptly. AND if I happen to use your question to create a video for Nino’s TV, we’ll send you a Nino’s apron and a $25.00 Nino’s gift certificate.
Whether it’s chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, or beef, the savory aroma of a roast takes you back to some of the best meals you’ve ever had.
Roasts have a way of making memories. Maybe it’s because we often reserve roasts for large family meals or special occasions, or maybe they’re just that good!
Admittedly, roasts require a slightly larger investment of your time. From the initial preheating of your oven to the final slicing, a typical roast takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours. That’s more time than most people are willing to wait to eat once they’ve come home from work or after a weekend day of outdoor activities.
Having said that, it’s time well spent, even more so once you’ve invested those few short moments to season and get that roast in the oven. It leaves you plenty of time afterwards to do OTHER important things–like relax.
Maybe even have a glass of wine.
And to make that investment pay off with delicious dividends, I’ve prepared Nino’s Roasting Tips. A rather comprehensive guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of roasting.
The easy-to-read, easy-to-follow tips will help you create that perfect roast that you pictured in your mind when you saw that piece of meat in the butcher shop and then imagined it on your dinner table.
In the guide, I’ve got the How To’s on everything, including how much to buy, how to prepare, how to season, how to roast, and finally, how to know when it’s done!
The only thing you’ll be left to answer is, “How did I do without these tips for so many years?”
I also have a guide entitled “Marinates and Rubs” that gives you information to help you “Glam your Lamb” or other meats with an additional complement of flavor or spice.
And when it comes time to pick out that perfect roast, stop by Nino’s in-store, full-service Butcher Shop, where you’ll find a terrific variety of roasts to choose from.
We’ll help you pick out a roast that’s just right for your dinner and offer you any additional advice you need. You can also pick up any additional supplies you might be looking for, ranging from marinades and rubs to stuffing mixes and your favorite condiments.
Occasionally called the “other” white meat, pork has always had an identity issue. Whether being perceived as too fatty, too dry, too tough or in need of cooking to “well done” for health purposes, pork, like a multiple-choice test, is really “none of the above.”
If you stop for a moment and think about it, pork is one of the most versatile meats. From bacon in the morning, shaved ham on a sandwich at lunch and perhaps a slab of baby back ribs or a delicious pork roast, pork has got you covered from sunup till sundown.
This time of the year, however, at least in the cold-weather states, most of us hang up the barbecue tools and reach for the roasting pan when it comes to how we like our pork prepared. There’s nothing quite like a slice or two of succulent roasted pork with one of our favorite starch or vegetable side dishes.
The most common cuts of pork to roast are pork loins (including the chops that come from this area), butts and tenderloins. At Nino’s, the butchers also tell me that based on sales, our customers’ preference is exactly in that order.
So what makes a great pork roast?
Generally speaking, most “recipes” are about flavor, but their “methods” (that is, how they’re prepared and then cooked) are all about how moist, how tender, and to some degree, how appealing the roast on your dinner table will be. Recipes and their corresponding methods are essential to one another. However, I find that while many cooks are religious about following the proportions of recipe ingredients (by measuring each ingredient precisely), they are much less vigilant about the method by which a recipe is cooked.
And THAT can make ALL the difference.
Regardless of which cut of meat you choose, I can give you a few tips to help you enjoy your roast more than ever before and get the MOST out of your recipes.
Fat is not a bad thing. If your roast has a ⅛” to ¼” layer of fat on it, don’t trim it off until AFTER it has roasted. It will help keep your meat juicy and flavorful. It’s also why you see so many pork recipes with bacon wrapped on the outside. It’s as much for the fat that protects the interior juices as it is for the flavor.
Consider a rub on the outside surface of your roast. A rub will help create a “flavor seal” that will do two things:
Lock in the interior juices
Give the surface an additional delicious flavor
Sear your roast (on all sides) in a hot, non-stick skillet, with a very small bit of vegetable oil, before roasting. This will do a number of things, all of them good, including:
Help lock in those juices
Give the roast a GREAT color and taste
Allow you to roast at a low temperature since you already have great exterior color
Give you a moister and more tender meat
Roast the meat on a rack (off the pan’s surface) and at 325 F. The lower temperature gives you a juicer, moister meat with a greater yield and edge-to-edge “doneness” without over-roasting the crust.
Never cover the roast with a lid or foil. This creates steam, which does two bad things:
Prevents the meat from browning properly
Makes the meat tougher
After you remove the roast from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes to help the interior juices re-hydrate evenly throughout the meat. Now, you’ll get edge-to-edge juiciness.
Perhaps most importantly, consider roasting your pork to a “doneness” less than 165 F (or well done). This last point can make a huge difference. Not to fear, however, even the USDA has come to see the light and finally re-issued its “doneness” recommendations for pork.