When it comes to slow-roasting meats, time, patience and attention to detail are a must. Careful timing and planning goes into cooking the perfect slow roast; this is not a meal you want to just toss together. In order to get it right, here are some slow-cooking tips to help you get the tastiest piece of meat. The end result will be well worth the wait.
A well cooked piece of meat starts with the quality of the cut. There are endless resources online to tell you how long to cook certain meats, but no one will give you better insight than your local butcher. Share your plans and your butcher can steer you toward the best cuts of meat, along with the appropriate cooking times and temperatures for the cut of meat you’re getting.
When deciding between cuts, bone-in is the way to go when slow-roasting. When you cook bone-in meats, the fibers and cartilage break down while roasting, keeping the meat moist.
Embrace The Fat
Another way to keep the meat moist is to leave the fat on. By keeping the fat, you can help hydrate the meat as it cooks, helping to ensure your meat turns out juicy and tender.
For maximum flavor, brine the meat first. It helps keep the moisture in and combats under-salting. Brining the roast will season the meat the entire way through and keep it flavorful with each bite.
Slow-roasting slowly breaks down the meat and creates very tender bites. By searing your meat first, you are creating a caramelized outer layer that will permeate the meat as it cooks, providing a delicious crust in contrast to the tender meat.
The Right Tools
The risks with slow-cooking are over-cooking, resulting in dry meat, or not cooking the meat enough at lower temperatures. Luckily, a timer and a meat thermometer can be your saving grace. The weight, thickness, and type of cut (bone-in or not) will determine the time and temperature at which to cook your meat. For lower temperatures, use the thermometer to make sure your meat is done. For higher temps, you will want to check back sooner than later to ensure your meat isn’t drying out.
Herbs & Spice
Don’t be afraid to use herbs and spices as they can really enhance flavors and textures. Try adding a sprig of fresh thyme (not dried) to the oil before you sear your meat. Add the same sprig to the pan to cook with the meat for a subtle but special flavor boost.
If this much care is going into your meal, your drink of choice should be given some thought as well. Richer meals are great with more robust drinks, while lighter main courses need a softer-tasting brew. For example, if you are slow-roasting pork, you can try an amber ale, which will cut through the fat, or choose a citrusy beer to add a fruity element. On the other hand, savory ribs are better paired with the richness of stouts and porters.
Serve With Vegetables
Don’t let the flavorful juices from the meat go to waste. Whether you are using a roasting rack or pan, place a layer of thick-cut vegetables underneath your meat. Both the meat and vegetables will take in flavors from each other, but the vegetables will also soak in the juices that drip down, creating incredibly flavorful veggies for you to enjoy.
Visit The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for breakfast or lunch – we’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00-4:30pm. Find us on the corner of Garey Avenue and Arrow Highway in Pomona (next to Johnny’s).