Main content


Food cooked in an oven or on a spit, either in its own juices or with added fat, is said to be roasted. It usually refers to meat but fish and vegetables can also be roasted. Usually the more tender cuts of meat are roasted. To prevent meat from drying out during cooking, it can be basted, either by spooning meat juices over the meat or by barding the meat, that is, laying strips of bacon or pork fat over it. This should not be done with the tender cuts, as the flavour of the bacon or pork may overwhelm. Once cooked, leave meat to ‘rest’, covered and in a warm place, for about 15 minutes. This allows the juices to be absorbed back into the meat, and makes it easier to carve. Meat will continue cooking when it is resting so calculate this into your cooking time. It will also continue cooking when carved if you serve it on a hot plate. The shape of a joint affects how evenly it will cook: a leg of pork or lamb will never cook as evenly as a rib roast or fillet. Stuffing a joint will also affect its cooking time—the meat needs to be cooked for longer. Meat can be roasted on or off the bone; boned joints do not roast any better than those on the bone and joints roasted on the bone can be taken off the bone before carving.