How to Make a Perfect Roast Slideshow
"When preparing your roast, the meat should always be at room temperature," says Alain Allegretti, chef and owner of Bistro La Promenade in New York City. This is a common mistake among home cooks. If you don't take off the chill, the outside of the roast will cook much faster than the inside, potentially leaving you with a fully cooked exterior and a raw center, especially with a larger roast.
"While preparing, one of the biggest problems most home [cooks] have is using the wrong grain salt to season," says Allegretti. "Smaller roasts require a smaller grain of salt because it melts faster and is absorbed into the meat quickly. For larger roasts, like a prime rib, use a rock or sea salt to ensure a good crust, and a longer absorption time into the meat."
"Do not use pepper in the beginning of your preparation. Pepper has a tendency to burn at high temperatures, and leaves a bitter taste," advises Allegretti.
"When searing, use canola oil because it has a higher [smoke] point," says Allegretti. Other oils with a high smoke point such as safflower or grapeseed oil also work well, but avoid using extra-virgin olive oil, which burns at relatively low temperatures and will prevent you from achieving the proper sear needed for a delicious crust.
While the roast may smell delicious, and you have, no doubt, already been waiting for a very long time to have dinner, Allegretti advises against cutting into the roast right away. He says, "While oven roasting, cook one temperature below where you want the meat to finish. For example, if you want your roast to be medium-rare, cook at a temperature where meat will be rare, remove [from the oven], and allow for a 10-minute resting time. The meat will continue to cook during rest[ing] time and will finish at medium-rare."
What is the perfect way to finish a roast? For Allegretti, it's simple. He says, "For a [classic French] Riviera flavor, finish with fresh butter, garlic, and thyme."