Cooking Techniques

Roasting

Roasting is dry cooking food in an oven in a large uncovered pan. The lastthree words of this definition are the key. By not covering the food, the heatcreates a crusty brown exterior, sealing in moisture. The pan should be largeenough that the moisture that does escape from the food evaporates quickly;otherwise the steam will keep the food from browning properly.

Tender meats are ideally suited for roasting because dry cooking is not sufficientto break down the fibers in tougher cuts. Examples like tenderloin, prime ribor top round should be roasted, while chuck is best cooked with moist heat (see Braising). Fish and fowl are ideal for roasting.

When roasting vegetables it is important to have a large pan so that they will and not touch each other. I try to leave at least 1/4 of the bottom ofthe pan exposed and stir the vegetables often.