Sunday Roast: Summer Edition

Solving the dilemma of hot summer days and the need for a perfect roast.

I love my sunday roast! I go to the butcher and let him select a nice cut of meat for me and on my way home I plan how I’m going to cook it. A few simple sides to go with it. Most of the time this will be roasted vegetables, since I am addicted to their simplicity and deliciousness. But in the summer times my enthusiasm for sunday roast comes to a halt: it is hot outside and the last thing I want to do is adding heat by roasting something for hours in the oven. But I have found a solution and you will love it!

My idea for the summer roast is simple: I want  to use a low temperature for cooking the meat and I want to use the cooler outside temperature at night to keep my flat from overheating. The solution is simple. Roasting over night with very low temperatures while opening the window to let the refreshing night air in.

Because this is a cooking technique that you can use for many different kind of roasts, I don’t want to give you a recipe, but a guideline that you can customize to your needs:

  1. Go to your butcher and let him select a nice cut of meat for you. It should be relatively large as this will give a better taste and more juicyness. Pick a well aged and not too lean cut!
  2. If you want to, you can make a dry rub for your roast and let it marinade for up to three days. I always use liberal amounts of salt and sugar to make sure the meat doesn’t spoil. Also be generous with the spices you use, they need to season a big piece of meat and most of them also protect from bacterial growth. Traditional spices involve: dried onions and garlic, ground mustard seeds, coriander, paprika, chili, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and pepper, but you can experiment with pretty much anything you like.
  3. If you use a dry rub, put your roast together with the rub into an airtight container or freezer bag and leave in the fridge.
  4. The night before you want to eat your roast preheat the oven to 90C. Take the roast out of the fridge. Either wrap it closely in baking paper and tin foil, or put it onto a roasting tray and cover the tray as tight as possible. You could also use a dutch oven or something similar.
  5. Leave your roast in the oven for up to 14 hours. This means if you went to bed at 10pm, your roast will be ready waiting for you at 12am! Larger cuts will take advantage of even longer cooking times.
  6. Let your roast rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile you can reduce the cooking juices to a tasty gravy and make a simple side like a chopped salad.

In the image above you can see the result of a 3,5kg cut of beef that my butcher selected for me, but you could also use pork or even game. It turned out to be perfectly juicy and tender! The resulting leftovers will keep me and Chantal happy for the rest of the week.

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