Points to Remember about Roasting Meat

  • Bones are good conductors of heat and will transfer it into the centre of the joint. This should be taken into account when calculating the roasting time, as meat on the bone will cook more quickly than meat off the bone.
  • A long thin piece of meat weighing 2.3kg will take less time to cook than a round piece of the same weight.
  • Lean joints should be basted with fat during roasting to help preserve the meat’s moisture, as well as to form a crisp, browned crust. Alternatively, a layer of pork fat or bacon can be tied around the joint to protect the lean meat beneath, a technique known as ‘barding’; or fat can be threaded through the meat, a technique know as ‘larding’.
  • Stuffed meats should be cooked at around 180c/250f/gas mark 4, giving the stuffed joint log enough to cook through without drying out, but not long enough to enable bacteria in the stuffing to flourish.
  • When using a fan (convection) oven, reduce cooking times by 10 per cent, or lower the oven temperature by 10c/50f.
  • A joint needs to be roasted for a short time at a high temperature to brown the meat for colour and flavour. After that, turn the oven down to a lower temperature for the remainder of the roasting time to avoid excessive shrinkage. For specific roasting times, see the relevant meat selections