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Mini Roasts

Guide to Mini-Roasts: A Simply Delicious Meal

 

The Basics: A Meat Thermometer and Reading Temperatures

Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen or a novice cook, you can carry off mini-roasts with flair. Small in size (about 1 kg/2 lb.), mini-roasts are an ideal choice for weeknight meals, perfect for couples and small families. Here’s all you need to know about making this hearty dish, from roasting tips to seasoning ideas and more!

A meat thermometer is a wise investment, guaranteeing juicy, perfect roasts every time. It registers the meat’s internal temperature––the only reliable gauge of doneness.

To check the temperature, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the roast, making sure that it doesn’t come into contact with any bones, fat or cartilage. Note: Some thermometers can be left in the meat during cooking, while others can’t!

Follow this general temperature guide for doneness.

 Meat Internal cooking temperatures
 Beef Rare: 57°C / 135°F; Medium: 68°C / 155°F; Well-done: 72°C / 165°F
 Chicken Stuffed: 80°C / 175°F; Unstuffed: 77°C / 170°F
 Lamb Rare: 63°C / 145°F; Pink: 68°C / 155°F; Well-done: 72°C / 165°F
 Pork 70°C / 160°F
 Turkey Stuffed: 82°C / 180°F; Unstuffed: 77°C / 170°F
 Veal 70°C / 160°F

Tip: Beef and lamb can be enjoyed at different degrees of doneness: rare, medium or well-done. However, be careful with cuts of beef such as the Chateaubriand roast, Crown roast, French roast and tournedos roast. These should always be served medium-done to well-done.


Essential Rules for a Succulent Roast

  • Give your roast a flavour boost by lining the roasting pan with sliced onions or other savoury vegetables (such as leeks or cabbage)
  • Do not salt meat before cooking—salt draws the meat’s juices out making it dry
  • Do not prick the roast with a knife or fork during cooking or the meat juices will run out making the meat dry
  • Do not baste cooked roast with hot pan juices or it will continue to cook
  • Do not leave the roast out at room temperature for more than 2 hours or bacteria will multiply.

Flavour Boosters: Dry Rubs, Marinades and Sauces

1Dry rubs

Dry rubs are a mixture of herbs and spices used to enhance the flavour of a roast. Coat your roast with the rub and leave it for at least 15 minutes (or overnight) depending on your flavour intensity preference. Here are some popular pairings to try.

 Beef Herbes de Provence, rosemary, thyme, ginger
 Chicken Herbes de Provence, sage, juniper berries, Chinese five-spice, nutmeg
 Lamb Coriander, mint, cinnamon, thyme
 Pork Cinnamon, Chinese five-spice, cloves, curry, ginger
 Turkey Tarragon, curry, mustard seed, paprika
 Veal Basil, chervil, marjoram, oregano

Looking for something more exotic? Try these great combinations.

 Asian flavour Basil, Chinese five-spice, ginger, mint
 Indian flavour Cumin, turmeric, curry, coriander, Caraway seed, poppy seed
 Italian flavour Basil, oregano
 Mediterranean flavour Basil, marjoram, rosemary, cinnamon
 Mexican flavour Cumin, coriander
 Middle-Eastern flavour Cumin, coriander

Did you know?

  • Certain herbs such as sage, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and savory can withstand prolonged cooking whereas basil, dill and parsley should be added only when cooking is almost done
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) of dried herbs is equivalent to 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of fresh herbs
  • The more finely chopped the herbs are, the greater the flavour

2Marinades

Marinades, which are basically oil, spices, fresh herbs and a tenderizing acidic ingredient (such as white or red wine, citrus juice or vinegar), enhance the taste and tenderness of roasts. Calculate at least 2 hours (maximum 24 hours) for marinating and about 1 cup (250 mL) of marinade for each 2 lb./1 kg of meat. You can adjust your marinade to make it more sweet, spicy, refreshing or aromatic as you see fit. Want it sweeter? Add some honey. Prefer a roast with a kick? Try a marinade with Tabasco.

 Aromatic Fresh herbs (mint, coriander, basil), garlic, fresh ginger, aromatic oils (sesame, peanut), citrus juice and zest (lime, grapefruit, lemon)
 Refreshing Yogurt, sour cream
 Sweet Honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, jam
 Spicy Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce or some hot pepper
 Unique Soy sauce, tamari sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce


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