Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – How to Cook the Perfect Sunday Roast


How to cook the perfect Sunday Roast.

Sunday Roast…They range from the best to the worst they also strike fear into the heart of many people…Some people thing it is the easiest meal in the world to cook and then find out it isn’t…

Why?

Meat…Depending on what meat you are cooking it could take anything from an hour to three plus hours…

Potatoes…Who doesn’t love a nice golden, crispy potato with a soft fluffy inside?

Vegetables… Most are cooked in a flash…

But they all have different cooking times and methods …Getting them all perfect and ready at the same time is no mean feat.

If Yorkshire (puddings) come into the equation then…That can throw a spanner in the works…They should be well risen and golden… Flat and stodgy doesn’t cut it!

We used to cook one of the best roast dinners in the area when we had our restaurant and even the other night we met up with an old friend from where we used to live and he mentioned my roast dinner and promptly invited himself to dinner…

The questions I get on how to cook the potatoes, Yorkshires, crackling and gravy are the most common…

Let’s break it down…

Roast potatoes…

  1. Peel your potatoes, although I like them roasted in their skins, but traditionally in an English roast they are not.
  2. Bring to the boil in lightly salted water and cook until they are just tender when you test with a knife.
  3. Drain and I keep the water sometimes to thin my gravy.
  4. Then shake the pan so the edges of the potatoes just break a little this gives you a nice crisp.
  5. Then cover the pan with a clean tea towel until you are ready to put in the oven.
  6. You now have two choices you can either cook in a separate pan or cook in the meat juices.
  7. We like ours cooked in the meat juices as you don’t get that firm crisp outside it is broken if that makes sense crispy but a softer crisp…
  8. Either way the fat must be hot…

I normally cook the potatoes around my meat and then when they are ready to turn over after about 20 minutes, I then remove the meat to rest turn up the oven and cook the potatoes until they are nicely crisped and golden about another 15-20 minutes depending on how many roasties you are doing…If you are cooking for two then they don’t take long.

Fat you can cook in the meat fat or use goose or duck fat which make really crispy roast potatoes…I tend to use those fats at Christmas as a general rule I use a good cooking oil or coconut oil.

Yorkshire puddings…

I could debate the merits of a good Yorkshire pudding as depending on which part of England you come from “Ours is the best”

I will not enter into that conversation but will impart to you how I cook my version.

Originally the Yorkshire was served as a first course and traditionally only with beef. It was served as a first course as a filler, and then not so much of the expensive meat would be required, or in the poorer households the Yorkshire pudding was served with the meat drippings as the only course.

The Yorkshire pudding is meant to rise…In 2008 the Royal Society of Chemistry suggested that “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than 4 inches tall”

The debate lingers on and I am sure it will for many more years to come…

Ingredients: To make 6 Yorkshire puddings.

• 70 gm flour
• 2 eggs
• 100 ml milk
• Oil to cook.

Let’s Cook

  1. Oven to 230C (fan 210) Gas 8.
  2. Make your batter by adding the eggs to the flour and gradually adding the milk to make a smooth batter. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. When you are ready to cook your Yorkshires make sure you have cranked the oven up add a little oil to your 6 hole tin and put in the oven.
  4. When the oil is hot 3-4 mins add the chilled batter and put straight back in the oven you will hear the sizzle as the cold batter hits the hot fat.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes until nicely risen and golden…

Tip: Do not open the oven door or they will go flat…

Gravy…

Should be smooth, lump free and tasty.

Again the gravy train rumbles on and it all depends on your preference…Ours is for a gravy which has a bit of body but one that you can’t stand your spoon up in …an old saying if gravy was too thick however in some parts of England thick gravy is a must…

A British tradition is to make the gravy in the meat pan using some of the juices…No posh jus and sauces just good tasty gravy.

  1. Remove the meat from the pan and if you have too much fat drain some of the fat off you need about 1 to 1 ½ tbsp.
  2. Put the pan on the hob, and on a medium heat, let it bubble and scrape the pan to get the drippings; now you need to put a bit of speed behind this or you will end up with lumpy gravy so no gentle scrapings
  3. Add a tbsp of plain flour keep stirring add gradually
  4. Add about 570 ml of hot stock or a combo of potato water and vegetable water and keep stirring, allow to simmer to infuse all the flavours, and reduce a little if it is too runny for you, or add a little more stock if it is too thick.
  5. Season as required I normally add black pepper and a dash of Worchester sauce.

Pork Crackling…

If you are having pork roast you need that crackling to be crispy and crunchy don’t we?
Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well,

It’s easy! When you know how!

I have lost count of the number of times that I have been screaming at the screen when watching my favourite cooking programs…Turn it up and leave the door shut…

When you buy your Pork look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y. The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Pork loin approx 2 kilos which I scored and rolled then tied with kitchen string.

  1. Right, let’s go, Heat oven and set to 250C.
  2. Next, take a small amount of oil and rub into the skin.
  3. Then generously salt the skin making sure you rub it well into the fat.
  4. (The specs) you notice on mine is sage as we like added herbs on ours.
  5. But just salt is fine.
  6. Put in very hot oven until skin starts to blister up.
  7. If you tap with a knife you can hear it or once you get used to it you can see it blistering up.
  8. But keep an eye on it (as my pic) below shows I took my eye off the ball and burnt the edges. Even I have little lapses and disasters in the kitchen but I caught it in time and all was well…
  9. Reduce heat of the oven to about 170 degrees for the remainder of cooking time which depends on the size and cut off your pork. Pork loin cooks quicker.
  10. You should now have a lovely piece of Pork with crispy crackling and a lovely melt in your mouth pork.

Serve with lovely roast potatoes and an assortment of vegetables…Thank you for reading and for those of you who haven’t cooked or struggled to cook a Sunday Roast I hope this has helped…Any questions please ask…If it about coming to Sunday dinner I can only seat 12 x

©Recipes Carol Taylor

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Pork! Perfect!


 

Pork! Perfect!

Welcome once again to Carol’s Cookery column and this week it’s one of our family’s favourite meats after Beef (now) I have found a butcher… I do hope that you enjoyed the Beef recipes last week.

Perfect pork crackling eludes many, and there is many a time when I am screaming at the screen when those cookery contestants don’t get their crackling crispy…

How to get perfect Pork crackling every time.

Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well, it’s easy!

When you buy your Pork, look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y.

The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Belly Pork approx 2 kilos and we scored it and then rolled it.

Right let’s go,

  1. Heat oven and set to 250C.
  2. Next, take a small amount of oil and rub into the skin.
  3. Then generously salt the skin making sure you rub it well into the fat.
  4. You will notice on mine there is sage as we always add herbs to ours.
  5. But just salt is fine.
  6. Put in very hot oven until skin starts to blister up.
  7. If you tap with a knife you can hear it or once you get used to it you can see it blistering up.
  8. But keep an eye on it (as my pic) below shows I took my eye of the ball and burnt the edges.
  9. Reduce heat of the oven to about 170 degrees for the remainder of cooking time which depends on the size and cut off your pork. Pork loin cooks quicker.

You should now have a lovely piece of Pork with crispy crackling and lovely melt in your mouth pork.

Next is one of my favourites and also my favourite rice is when I add some herbs.

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 1 ¼ lb Pork tenderloin cut into cubes
  • 3 cups of coarsely chopped watercress reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup Orange marmalade
  • ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
  • Salt and pepper to season

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Season the pork and with the pan on a medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.
  3. Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan.
  4. Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.

Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.

This was very nice, I wasn’t sure about watercress, but the heat of the rice just wilted the watercress, and even hubby liked it….Me, I might add some chilli flakes next time…Just saying…

Pork ribs are the men folks favourite in this house and the dogs as he gets the bones…

Braised Pork Ribs.

This is by far the best recipe I have eaten so far for ribs. I nearly didn’t eat them as I am not a fan of chewing on a rib, however, the meat on these was so moist and soft it just fell off the bone. We cooked it as one whole piece rather than cut the ribs into portions.

Ingredients:

  • A 2-kilo piece of Pork Rib.
  • For the marinade.
  • 160 ml Hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp BLACK Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice and the grated zest.
  • 4 tbsp raw brown sugar
  • 10cm piece of fresh ginger julienned
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4-star anise

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients together.
  2. Then paint over the rack of ribs and put in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate and absorb all those lovely flavours.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and cook the ribs for 2 ½ to 3 hrs, basting the meat occasionally.
  5. When nice and tender remove from the oven and portion up and those lovely leftover juices from the pan we drizzled over the ribs and served them with a mixed salad, potato salad, and beetroot.

A finger bowl and serviettes were required as they made for quite a messy eating but very enjoyable and we would definitely make them again.

Enjoy!

These spicy rice balls are a lovely way to use up any leftover cooked rice and are quite delicious. They are one of the first things I was taught to cook by my daughter in law more years ago than I care to remember. Whenever we have a party or anything they are one of the first things to be eaten, adults and kids alike they love them.

We had these last night and we did have a couple left over….. Guess what I have just had with some ginger and chilli, lime juice squeezed over it and wrapped in a white cabbage leaf… all the Thai flavours and textures…so yummy!

Spicy Pork, rice and coconut balls.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm cold cooked rice.
  • 250 gm minced pork.
  • 150 gm coconut flesh. I have a funny little gadget that I bought long ago and I scrape the flesh out of a fresh coconut…
  • 1-3 tbsp of red curry paste.
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • 2 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix all ingredients together it will be slightly sticky.
  2. With wet hands shape the mixture into medium sized balls about 3-4 cm.
  3. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking as the outside will cook before the inside and cook rice balls 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these Pork recipes until next time…stay safe , have fun and laugh a lot xxx

Another fantastic collection of recipes and my thanks to Carol for spending so much time in the kitchen again this week, creating such tempting dishes.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally