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Roasting tips

Top tips for perfecting the roast dinner - the best roast roast meat and sides. 

Roast pork: getting the perfect crackling

The crispiness of crackling does not depend on the thickness of the fat or the skin, but rather on dryness of the skin. To help dry the skin and ensure perfect crackling:

  • Leave your pork roast (covered with a paper towel) in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking.
  • When ready to roast, preheat oven to 220°C. Rub the skin with oil and salt, and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 160°C and roast until done.
  • Be sure to elevate the roast to ensure even cooking and crispy skin around the sides.

Read more: Your guide to the best cuts of pork.

Roast beef: How to tell when is roast beef is cooked.

Pierce the meat in the thickest part using a fine metal skewer, remove skewer & gently press the meat until you can see the juices:

  • Red = Underdone or rare meat
  • Pink = Medium-rare
  • Clear = Medium
  • None = Well done or overcooked

Read more: Your guide to the best cuts of beef.

Roast chicken - the best chicken gravy 
  • Gravy is traditionally a light brown colour for chicken and poultry.
  • If your gravy is a little pale, add ¼ teaspoon Vegemite or a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar for colour.
  • Add some chopped fresh thyme to the gravy for extra flavour.
  • Instead of placing a chicken on a roasting rack, cut thick slices of onion, put them in an oiled pan, then place the chicken on top. The onion will absorb the chicken juices. After roasting, let the chicken rest while you make a sauce with the onions by adding a little stock or water to the pan and cooking it for about 3 minutes on high heat.

Crispy skin roast chicken

When making a whole roast chicken, salt it, then chill it, uncovered, in the fridge for the day. This helps season the bird and dries out the skin so it crisps perfectly when cooked. Remove it from the fridge an hour before you plan to put it in the oven, and add herbs and aromatics like garlic or shallots

Read more: Your guide to the best cuts of chicken.

Roast lamb: the best mint dressing

Lamb and mint are a match made in heaven. Try this delicious roasted garlic, pine nut and mint pesto

  1. Cut 1 roasted garlic bulb in half horizontally and squeeze out the cloves.
  2. Place in a food processor with 3/4 cup of pine nuts, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese. Pulse to mix well.
  3. With the motor running, slowly add approx. 1/2 cup of oil and process to make a smooth paste.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve!

Read more: Your guide to the best cuts of lamb

Roast vegetables: Get the perfect crispy and sweet roast veges.

To stop the vegetables going soggy, spread them in the baking dish in a single layer, which helps with airflow. Setting the oven to around 200C is hot enough to caramelize the sugars in the vegetable to bring out the natural sweetness.

Read more: How to cook a perfect roast - cooking times and best cuts.