Saturday, January 8, 2011


My favorite meal right now is any kind of roast.  I love throwing a chicken, turkey, pork or beef into the old roasting pan with 1 to 2 cups of water, 1 chopped onion and bake. The times of cooking change depending on what you are cooking but from my experience more time is better.  1 hour before you expect your meat to be done I put in large chopped pieces of carrot and potato. I like to wash and cut these veggies at the kids nap time so it only takes seconds to put them in the oven when the kids are up and always playing at my feet. At supper time when I made the gravy i put my kids in their high chairs with a little meat and veggies to eat while I finish making supper.  I take the juice from the meat off and make a gravy. This does take a little more work and isn't necessary to make a delicious meal but my family appreciates it.  Also I usually cook in the microwave some frozen corn or peas since my rule at supper is 2 veggies for a meal.
The things that make this an easy meal is that there is always lots and often enough to reheat the next day.  At least one night a week we have other people stay for supper so this is enough for everyone.  Also I can put the meat in the roasting pan in the fridge the night before and then it is ready to cook the next day when I get home if I have a busy day planned.   Once the meat is in the oven I have supper done and can have a nap when my kids nap.
Two things I have learned from cooking meat is that it does turn out better if it is totally thawed and poultry will dry out if it is over cooked. Beef needs 20 mins to rest once it is out of the oven.  Both meats if done too early taste great if you slice it and put into the gravy to keep moist and reheated in oven later if needed.

I use a small pot and take a tbsp of fat off the liquid that is with the meat.  I mix with 1 tbsp of flour til flour is dissolved.  Then I pour the meat juice out of roasting pan into the small pot.  Put pot on medium heat and whisk often. Bring gravy to a simmer.  Take 2 tbsp of cornstarch and 3tbsp of cold water.  mix in a glass and pour in to small pot.  this will thicken the gravy more.  if you find you don't have enough or that it tastes weak you can add dry chicken or beef stock powder and more water but you will need to repeat the cornstarch directions.  For seasoning I also add Italian spice and salt and pepper to taste.   Most people take the meat and veggies out of roasting pan and make gravy in it.  that is a great way as well but often I still need to keep the meat warm so by pouring out the juices and leaving the supper in the roasting pan I can put the whole thing back in the oven with the oven shut off to keep it warm while I make my gravy.  Then when supper is ready I just fill everyone plate from the roasting pan and they can serve their own gravy.  Less dishes for me.

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