Have you ever tried to cook a roast? Did it suck? Did it involve a ton of searching for recipes of a cut you’ve never heard of, questioning Mom and Grandma, thumbing through the ancient recipe-scrolls of the Women’s League from a time when “Roasts” were synonymous with cooking supper and martinis were an appropriate palate cleanser, only to end up—usually after 5 hours of stressing out and opening and closing the oven 40 times—with a leathery knob of dried beef fit for a trans-Atlantic voyage to The New World? Well, I have. And yes, it sucked.
Accurately measuring internal temperature and a sharp knife are everything!
There are recipes for slow-cooking some of these cuts, chuck in particular, but we are going to save those recipes for Winter and treat all roasts as equals for this one. I know, sacrilege. Whatever. I don’t believe in rules. I roasted a chuck roll last night and my crock-pot whimpered, wondering if it would ever see marathon slow-cooking sessions ever again.
Anyway, here’s what Grandma never told you. Back in the day, she bought fat hunks of roast because it was the cheapest way to serve all 8 kids and your chubby uncle. Whether it was top-block or leg of lamb she cooked them all the same. Also, Grandpa liked showing off how cool his stag-handled carving set was; he always shaved off a patch of arm hair right before slicing razor thin portions from the perfectly cooked center-piece. Here’s what else Grandma never told you, she used Kitchen Bouquet to aide the browning process (KB ingredients include caramel color, vegetable base, sodium benzoate and sulfiting agents) and her meat thermometer was perfectly calibrated at all times.
So, here’s all you really need to roast anything perfectly: A Larder Meat Co. Roast, a cast-iron pan, a roasting pan with rack (you can roast in the cast-iron pan as well), a properly calibrated oven, a digital meat thermometer, and a ridiculously sharp carving/slicing knife. That’s it! Then, just follow my technique all the way to the table.