Roasting is the term used to describe the cooking of meat by radiated heat. Ori-ginally this was accomplished by hanging meat on a spit and rotating the meat while it roasted over hot coals or wood. The modern equivalent of this method is cooking with an electric or gas ROTISSERIE. However, nowadays roasting refers to the cooking of meat, poultry and game in an oven.

It is preferable to roast only the best cuts of meat, and game and poultry in prime condition.

To prepare meat for roasting, it should first be wiped with a damp cloth, rubbed with a little salt and pepper, and then, with the exception of beef, the meat may be sprinkled with a little flour to help make the gravy and seal in the juices.

Meat with little natural fat should be covered with strips of bacon or other barding and a little fat or dripping should be placed in the roasting pan.

To prepare poultry or game birds for roasting, rub them inside and out with a little salt and pepper, stuff the cavities if desired, and then truss the birds. Except for fatty birds like duck and goose, bacon or fat placed on the breast will help prevent the flesh from becoming too dry during the roasting process. A little fat or dripping should also be placed in the roasting pan. Large birds should be pricked all over with a fork.

When preparations are completed, place the meat, poultry or game on a roasting rack in a roasting pan (meat and game with a high fat content benefit more by being placed on a rack). Place the tin in an oven preheated to the required temperature and roast, basting every 15 minutes throughout the cooking time.

There are two basic methods of roasting meat in the oven. One method is to cook the meat quickly at first, with the object of sealing in the juices, and then reduce the temperature for the rest of the cooking time. The second method is to cook the meat at the same temperature for the whole cooking time. The advantages of this method are that meat shrinkage and juice wastage are reduced.

The use of a meat thermometer ensures that the meat is cooked exactly to your taste. Once the required temperature is reached then the meat can be removed from the oven.

If you wrap the meat in aluminium foil, remember to remove it 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time to allow the outside of the meat to brown.

After roasting is completed, leave the meat, poultry or game in a warm place for 10 minutes to ‘set’ as this will make carving easier.

More detailed instructions relating to roasting are given under the individual entries on meat, poultry and game.

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