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How to cook the perfect Christmas roast

With the family gathered around for Christmas, there’s no better time to serve the perfect roast. These tips will help to ensure your roast is the most delicious yet.

No matter how hot the summer day is for an Australian Christmas, nothing beats gathering around a delicious Christmas roast with the family. If you’re the host this year, then never fear, this quick guide to the perfect Christmas roast will tell you all you need to know regardless of what type of roast you’re cooking. You’ll have everyone praising your culinary skills this festive season.

General roasting tips

  • Be sure to pre-heat the oven.
  • Season well with salt and pepper and olive oil and suitable herbs and spices.
  • Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking.
  • A rough rule of thumb for great roasts is 30 minutes cooking for every 500 grams of weight.
  • Allow your roast to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
  • Season your meat with accompanying flavours the night before to allow flavour infusion.
  • Use a roasting rack to lift the meat up and allow heat circulation.

How to cook the perfect roast beef

Beef is always a popular choice for Christmas dinner, and it’s ease of availability and affordable pricing makes it a great option to feed a large number of guests. When choosing and cooking a beef roast, follow these tips for a delicious outcome:

  • Sirloin or fillet cuts make tasty, tender roasts.
  • Look for darker coloured meats — mature meats have greater flavour.
  • A thick layer of fat helps to protect the meat from drying and can be removed before serving.
  • Marbling, or thin lines of fat throughout the meat ensure flavour and moisture are retained.
  • Start with an oven around 220 degrees Celsius for the first half an hour, then lower to around 180 degrees Celsius for the remaining time.

Tips for a great roast chicken

  • Cook roast chicken with the breast facing upwards, cover with foil if at risk of drying out.
  • When resting the chicken, place the breast down to allow juices to settle in the drier breast meat.
  • Use fresh breadcrumbs for stuffing, and include herbs like rosemary and parsley or citrus fruits for something different.

Tips for cooking a great roast lamb

  • Leg, shoulder and rolled roasts are the preferred cuts for a lamb roast.
  • Seasonings that are very suited to lamb roasts include mint, rosemary, thyme, coriander and garlic.

Tips for great turkey roast

  • Turkey meat is very lean and can easily dry out. To reduce this risk, cover the turkey with baking paper and then foil to keep moisture in.
  • Add a little water to the roasting pan to help moisture circulate.
  • When the turkey is cooked, a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh will allow clear juices to flow.

More cooking tips

Cooking for a large crowd
Australian Christmas recipes
Edible treats to say thank you

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