Sunday, 25 March 2012

Best of... Sunday Roasts

The week and consequently the weekend have come to an end. It always gives me a comforting feeling to have a warm, hearty meal to start the new week that will fly by in no time.  These roasts easily satisfy and are ideal for the upcoming winter months (one of the few perks of the season). 

This first piece of meat comes with a bonus- hard and crispy crackling. Although I am conscious of where the pork I eat is coming from, I found it a lot easier to pick up something from the supermarket- while going for the self proclaimed cruelty free sticker. This recipe has been adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Pork Belly Roast recipe. I considered attempting the gravy but thought it a waste to mash up such beautiful roast vegetables. 

Roast Pork Belly
Serves 2

500g pork belly
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red onions, halved
2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
2 parsnips, halved lengthways
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
1 medium kumara
6 small potatoes
Dried thyme

Preheat oven to 220°C.
Place pork skin-side upwards. Using a small sharp knife
and make scores about a centimetre apart through the skin into the fat, but not so deep that you cut into the meat.
Rub salt into the scores. Season the underside of the meat with salt and black pepper.
Place your pork, skin side-up, in a roasting tray big enough to hold the pork and the vegetables, and place in the hot oven.
Roast for about half an hour until the skin is turning into crackling.
In the meantime, par boil kumara and potatoes for 10 minutes in boiling water.

Turn the heat down to 180°C.
Take out of the oven and baste with the fat in the bottom of the tray.
Transfer pork to a chopping board. Add all the vegetables, garlic and thyme to the tray and stir them into the fat.
Place the pork on top of everything and pop the tray back in the oven.
Roast for another half an hour until vegetables look browned and meat cooked through. 

The cooking time for this recipe will change with the weight of the meat, so refer to packet instructions or Jamie Oliver’s recipe as found on his website.

Lamb is the next choice. It cannot be beaten on popularity, especially with a good mint sauce/jelly. I came across this recipe while scanning the NZ Beef and Lamb website- worth a visit if you’re into that. I can’t recommend a way to keep your piece of meat succulent- just be sure not to overcook it.

Roast Lamb with Homemade Mint Sauce
Serves 4

1kg leg of Lamb
6-8 cloves Garlic, peeled and cut into slithers
Fresh Rosemary sprigs
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Bunch of Mint
Pinch of Salt
4 tablespoons boiling water
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC.
Pierce the lamb with a sharp knife and add slithers of garlic and rosemary sprigs. Brush with oil, season and place in a roasting dish.

Remove from the oven and rest 25 minutes in a warm place before carving. 

For the mint sauce, finely chop the mint. Add mint, sugar and boiling water to jar, and shake. Leave to cool before adding vinegar to taste.

And we like to save the best ‘til last- desert! You can’t go past an anything Crumble- made of well anything. This one consists of apples, pears and rhubarb- all picked up from the Christchurch Farmers’ Market.