The perfect antidote to winter blues is a hearty roast. Over the years, roasts have evolved — a plain lamb roast has morphed into a Turkish delight sprinkled with fennel, caraway and cumin seeds and basted in yoghurt. And I sometimes adapt menus to include gluten-free gravies and meatless roasts. However, the aromas that waft through the house still give me the warm fuzzies.
There is one important step to remember when roasting meat. After removing from the oven, it should be allowed to rest. Place the roast on a warm platter and tent with foil. Stand for at least 10 minutes or up to 20 minutes depending on the size. This ensures the juices remain in the roast when it is carved.
I’ve included some wine accompaniments but if you’re committed to a ‘Dry July’ then a great substitute for wine is a warming Seedlip cocktail. Seedlip is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic drink. Blended and bottled in England, Seedlip is free from calories, sugar, sweeteners and artificial flavours. Available from supermarkets and liquor stores there are three blends. I love Spice 94 to which I add thin slices of root ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of honey and a little hot water.
ROAST VEGETABLE LOAF
The vegetables are roasted then formed into a loaf. Great served with a raita (Greek yoghurt, diced cucumber and mint) and /or a fruit chutney. Pinot Gris is the perfect wine match.
300g each: peeled parsnip, pumpkin, potato
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon each: Moroccan spices, fennel seeds
1/2-1 teaspoon diced chilli
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
400g can chick peas, drained
3 eggs, lightly beaten.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly oil a 6-8 cup loaf pan. Lightly oil a roasting pan.
Cut the peeled vegetables into 2cm cubes. Place in the roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toss to coat then season. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until just tender.
Meanwhile, sauté the onion in the remaining oil until tender. Add the Moroccan spices, fennel seeds and chilli.
Place the cashew nuts and drained chick peas in the food processor. Blend until puréed.
Combine the roasted vegetables, onion, purée and eggs in a bowl. Spoon into the oiled loaf pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until set and golden. Turn the loaf onto a serving dish. Serve sliced either warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
HAWAIIAN ROAST PORK
If you want crackling, score the skin with the tip of a sharp knife. Otherwise, leave the skin plain and remove before carving. Great served with Honeyed Apples: Cut 4 cored apples into chunks. Toss in lemon juice. Sauté in 50g butter until softened. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of honey. Cook until golden.
1.5kg rolled boneless shoulder free-farm pork
1/4 cup each: soy sauce, brown sugar
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated root ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
400g can coconut milk
Place the pork in a bowl or plastic bag. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and a 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Mix well. Pour over the pork and move the meat around until well coated.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn often.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.
Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan. Add a cup of water to the pan. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and roast for about 30 minutes per 500g (internal temperature 71°C). Cover with foil and stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, strain the marinade and bring to the boil. Add the remaining coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve as a sauce with the pork. Marries well with Seedlip’s Spice 94 www.seedlipnz. Serves 6-8.
THAI ROASTED CHICKEN
A crisp riesling is my favourite wine with this chicken.
1 lime or lemon
1 bunch (1 packed cup) coriander leaves and stalks
3cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, chopped
1-2 teaspoons diced chilli
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Finely grated the rind of the lime or lemon and squeeze out the juice
Chop the coriander roughly and place in a blender. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli, lime rind half the lime juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season
Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Working from the neck end, carefully push your fingers between the skin and the flesh almost to the cavity end. Spread the paste evenly over the breast under the skin. Pat the skin into place. Any extra paste can be inserted into the cavity.
Combine the remaining oil and lime juice and drizzle over the chicken. Roast for about 20-25 minutes per 500g. Serves 4-6.