Saturday, 15 March 2014

No Fuss Family Roast

Nearly everyone I know loves a roast, well maybe not the vegetarians, and this is my 'quickish' go to version. The roast is perfect for those times when you want to still keep gardening or crafting or whatever you do in your spare time. It can be made for a crowd or for as few as you like. I usually make enough to have leftovers as my family will happily eat a reheated roast lunch the next day.

The long slow roast is great in winter and when you have heaps of time to cook it, however, with a bit of organisation you can cook a roast in about an hour and a bit, this requires your meat to be cut into smaller chunks. This method may not suit the purist but it produces a hearty roast like meal. The hour and a bit does not include going shopping. I am not averse to Gravox and view it in much the same way as sliced bread or tinned tomatoes - it is a convenience product.

Firstly, I use a boned leg of lamb or pork that I cut into two smaller roasts. I then cook it in a really hot oven (200 deg C), my Weber in an old roasting dish or my electric frypan. I like to cook the meat for about 45 minutes and then let it rest for 20 minutes. I use the browning and juices in the dish along with Gravox to make a gravy.

Once the meat is on I get the vegetables organised. Potatoes will take the longest. I cut them into four, put them on a tray with baking parchment, spray with cooking spray and put into a hot oven. They will take about 45 minutes. Repeat this process for pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnip beetroot or any other root vegetable. Smaller pieces cook quicker than large pieces.

This tomato and zucchini bake is tasty and cooks quickly if given a start in the microwave. Put sliced zucchini and chunks of tomato into a pyrex or dish that can go into a microwave and conventional oven. Add some crushed garlic and salt and pepper.

Microwave on high for five minutes. Cover with breadcrumbs, dot with butter and then put it in the oven to finish cooking and go brown and crispy on top.

Once the meat has cooked, remove it from the tray and make the gravy. I use the brown bits in the pan and some of the fat, then add some gravox, stir it over low heat for a minute to allow the Gravox to absorb the fat and then add boiling water or stock if I have it. It is important that you stir all the time to prevent it going lumpy, bring to the boil and then simmer. I usually add a splash of something(red /white wine, sherry) and a clove of crushed garlic  to add to the flavour. Use the directions on the Gravox packet for quantities.

Microwave some green vegetables such as frozen peas or broccoli while the gravy is simmering. Put the gravy into a jug or gravy boat if you have one.

Carve the meat, get the vegetables from the oven and then drain the green veg. Serve. I do not plate up for everyone and put all the food on a serving plate and expect them to serve themselves.

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