Roasting a Brined Chicken
Substitute other vegetables for those listed depending on what's in season.
1 2 ½ lb brined roasting hen
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1” squares
4 medium new potatoes, quartered
1 pint Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed
1 medium onion, sliced thickly
1 rib celery, cut into 1” slices
2 medium carrots, cut into 1” pieces
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper
Brine the chicken for 24 hours in the refrigerator, submerging it in the completely cooled brine and weighting it with a plate, if necessary.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Alternately, leave the chicken uncovered in a refrigerator for a few hours to dry the skin as much as possible; this will aid in crisping the skin.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange all of the vegetables in a roasting pan just large enough to fit them all in one crowded layer, then drizzle with the olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix to coat the vegetables, then place the roasting pan on the lower rack of the oven. Place the roasting hen, breast side up, facing the back of the oven, directly on the oven rack over the pan of vegetables. This will allow air to flow completely around the chicken and crisp all of the skin, as well as let the juices form the chicken drip onto the vegetables below.
Roast for 55 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the oven by inserting a wooden spoon into its cavity, then tilting the bird back, allowing the accumulated juices within its cavity to drain into the roasting pan of vegetables. Do this carefully. Then, lift the chicken and place it on top of the vegetables. Remove the pan of vegetables and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Cooking an Herb and Caraway Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Allow 45 minutes
1 Caul Fat-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium ovenproof pan, heat a thin film of olive oil or lard over high heat. Place the tenderloin in the pan and sear on one side for about 5-6 minutes, or until well browned. With tongs, give the tenderloin a quarter turn and brown the next of four sides. Repeat on the third side, searing the meat very well. Turn the tenderloin so that the last, unseared side is down, then place it in the oven. Roast for about 8-12 minutes, or the tenderloin is about 145 degrees at its thickest part. Remove the pan from the oven and set the tenderloin aside. At this point, use the pan to cook cabbage, spaetzle or potatoes. Let the tenderloin rest for about 5-10 minutes, then slice in 1/4" slices against the grain. Serve immediately.
Roasting a Brined Turkey
Allow 4 hours
1 Brined Turkey, 16-20 lbs.
4 ounces schmaltz or lard, softened
Black pepper, optional
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, or place in front of a fan for a few minutes to dry the skin out thoroughly (this will help crisp the skin). Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and rub all over with the softened schmaltz or lard. Grind black pepper over the bird at this point if desired. Place in the oven and roast hot for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue to cook the bird for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until a probe thermometer reads 161-165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast and leg. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving, loosely tented with foil.
Pot Roasting a Midolo Roast
Use a crock pot or a heavy enameled pot (le Creuset or Staub is optimal) to pot roast this marrow-stuffed boneless veal shank.
Allow 7 hours
1 midolo roast
2 TBSP lard, tallow or olive oil
4 carrots, cut in to large pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups red wine
1 bay leaf
1 quart stock or bone broth
If using a pot, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the roast well with salt and pepper. In the pot (or a large, heavy pan if using the crock pot) over high heat, sear the roast in the fat or olive oil on all sides until deeply browned. Remove the roast carefully and add the carrots, onion and bay. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce by a half, then add the stock. Return the roast to the pot (or, at this point, place everything in the crock pot). Put the lid on the pot and place in the oven. After 3 hours, turn the roast. Continue to cook the roast until very tender, about 6 hours in total. Remove the roast from the pot and allow to cool slightly. Remove the butcher's twine and slice thickly; serve with the sauce and something to catch the juices, like a simple risotto, mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles.
Roasting a Brined Rack of Pork
Allow 3 hours
1 brined rack of pork
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Season the whole rack with black pepper to taste, if desired. Wrap the long rib bones only in foil, leaving the loin unwrapped. Place the roast in a high-sided roasting pan, fat side up, and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 300 degrees and continue to roast until a thermometer reads 145 at the thickest part of the loin, checking every 20 minutes. Once this temperature is reached, remove the roast from the oven and carefully pour off the rendered fat, reserving it for another use (like roasting vegetables or potatoes). Allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes before carving; remove the loin from the rib and chine bones, then slice thinly across the grain. Remember to run a knife between the rib bones to remove the flavorful meat found here.
On the smoker, this roast can be hot-smoked at around 300 degrees to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Roasting a Boneless, Stuffed Loin of Pork
1 brined pork loin, stuffed
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Season the roast with black pepper to taste. Place the roast in a roasting pan, fat side up, and roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300 degrees and continue to cook the loin until the internal temperature is 145 degrees according to an internal read thermometer. Carefully remove the roast from the oven and pour off the fat, reserving for another use. Allow the loin to rest for 20 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. Serve immediately.
This cut can likewise be hot-smoked at 300 degrees to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Braising an Achiote-Rubbed Shoulder of Lamb
allow 6 hours
1 achiote-rubbed lamb shoulder
salt and pepper to taste
1 quart lamb stock
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the lamb shoulder well with salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan, casserole or Dutch oven and add the stock; cover with a lid or cover tightly with foil. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat on the stove, then put in the oven and cook until tender, about 5-6 hours, adding water if necessary to keep some liquid in the pan. Once tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. This can also be braised the day before, cooled completely and reheated to great effect. Serve with cilantro, corn tortillas, pickled onions, chopped onion and stewed beans.
Roasting a Leg of Lamb
allow 2 hours
1 marinated leg of lamb
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Season the lamb very well with salt and pepper (this can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time - we recommend pre-seasoning large roasts). Put the leg in a large roasting pan with a rack and roast for 20 minutes, or until very well browned all over. Tent the lamb with foil and turn the oven down to 325 degrees; check the lamb after 30 minutes by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg close to the bone (see doneness chart below). We like lamb legs between medium-rare to medium. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice thinly.
Roasting a Sirloin
1 lamb sirloin roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP lard or olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper. In a pan over high heat, sear the roast in lard or olive oil until well browned on all sides. Once browned, place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes before checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Once cooked to the desired doneness, remove the sirloin to a warm place and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice thinly.
- Rare: 125°F (about 15 minutes per lb.)
- Medium-Rare: 130°F to 135°F (about 20 minutes per lb.)
- Medium: 135°F to 140°F (about 25 minutes per lb.)
Roasting the Easter Bunny
allow 3 hours
2 TBSP lard, schmaltz or butter
1 Easter Bunny (boned and stuffed rabbit with sweetbreads, mushrooms and bacon)
1 pint rabbit glace
Preheat the oven top 350 degrees. In an ovenproof pan large enough to hold the rabbit, heat the lard or butter over high heat until melted. Add the rabbit and brown on all sides, turning occasionally. Once browned, add the rabbit glace and enough water to come halfway up the rabbit. Roast for one hour in the oven, uncovered, then turn the rabbit to expose the submerged half. Roast another hour. Remove the rabbit from the pan and allow to rest in a warm place. Put the pan back over high heat and reduce the sauce back to a pint. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove the fore and hind legs and slice the rabbit into thick one-inch slices and serve with the sauce spooned over.
Roasting a Stuffed Duck
allow 3 hours
1 Stuffed Duck
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat the duck very dry with towels, or place in front of a fan for a few minutes to get the skin very dry; this will help the skin crisp nicely. Place the duck on a roasting rack in a deep roasting pan into the oven, breast side up. Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees and rotate the duck a quarter turn. Cook the duck for an hour and a half, giving it a quarter turn each time and basting with rendered fat each time. Check for doneness by testing the legs; when they move freely and wiggle, the duck is ready. The internal temperature of the duck and stuffing will be around 180 degrees. Carefully remove the duck from the roasting pan and allow to cool slightly before carving.
Pour the rendered duck fat through a fine strainer, carefully, and reserve for another use, such as roasting potatoes. It will keep for months in a glass jar, refrigerated.
Slice the duck thickly and serve with mashed potatoes or roasted winter vegetables.
Leftovers are great if crisped in a pan, in a little duck fat, then topped with a duck-fat fried egg.
Cotechino with Lentils
1 Cotechino sausage
3 quarts stock
2 cups green lentils
3 medium carrots, diced
1 leek, diced
1 small onion, diced
a bay leaf
Bring the 3 quarts stock to a simmer in a medium pot, then add the Cotechino and turn the burner off. Let the Cotechino poach very gently for about 20 minutes, or until firm and cooked through. Gently remove the sausage to a plate and keep warm. In another pot, combine the lentils, carrots, leek, onion and bay leaf, then cover with the sausage poaching liquid by about 1/2 inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes, adding a little stock as needed to keep the lentils covered. Once tender, return the sausage to the lentil pot and rewarm briefly before slicing the sausage into thick rings. Season the lentils, if needed, with salt and pepper and serve the sausage over the bed of lentils. Pour a little olive oil over the sausage and lentils.
Allow 6 hours.
1 Porchetta, 3-4 lbs.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the porchetta on a roasting rack (or atop a few big carrots or potatoes) in a roasting pan and cover with foil or a tight fitting lid. Slow roast in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, depending on the size of the porchetta, or until tender. Uncover the roast and cook for another hour to crisp the fat.
Carefully remove the roast and allow to rest and cool slightly. Pour the pan juices into a tall glass measuring cup or similar vessel, and skim the clear fat that rises to the top. Use the rendered fat to roast potatoes, winter squash, carrots, fennel, beets, parsnips, turnips or rutabagas, or to season mashed potatoes in place of butter. The fat will keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Slice the porchetta and dress with some of the de-fatted pan juices.
Leftover porchetta is excellent served cold or hot as a sandwich, tucked into a toasted ciabatta with a few leaves of arugula.