Sometimes, I just want to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and have them magically turn into dinner. Last Sunday was one of those days, and, while I didn't want to put a whole lot of effort into it, I still wanted a quality meal. Ladies and gentlemen, enter a roast with root vegetables.
Bring your roast to room temperature. Make up a mixture of olive oil, whole-grain mustard, herbs and spices (Jeff used garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and herbes de provence) and salt and pepper, pour it into a shallow dish, and roll your roast around in it. Use a choice cut roast such as top sirloin (pictured here,) rib-eye, or striploin for this method, since you won't be braising it. (Use cheaper cuts for stews, etc., because the liquid will tenderize the roast.)
And now, for a tip: the day before Jeff and I made this roast, we were watching Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on the Food Network, a new show that I like. The host was roasting a leg of lamb, and she shared one of her tricks with the viewer: after she had the bones removed from the leg, she used them as a roasting rack. Genius!
Inspired, we went to the grocery store and told the butcher about our plan; his eyes lit up and he said he had just the thing for us to use. A couple of minutes later, we had two rib bones all wrapped up to use as a rack. They only cost a few dollars, were very effective at keeping the roast off the bottom of the pan, and added a lot of flavour to the vegetables. I'm sold on this method!
We put the roast in the oven to cook on its own for about 30 minutes before adding the vegetables, but in the end the roast was done before the vegetables were. I recommend either roasting everything at the same time, or chopping the veggies into smaller pieces before adding them to the browned roast.
Anyway, put the whole thing in the oven, and forget about it for a couple of hours. Once it's cooked to your liking (when the sun has set and you have no more natural light for nice pictures, of course,) remove the roast and let it rest under a tent of foil. If your vegetables aren't done, continue to roast them; you can leave the "rack" in for flavour.
When the meat is done resting and the veggies are fork-tender, serve yourself a big plate of comfort. The meat will be tender and juicy, and the vegetables will be done to perfection and bursting with flavour. You will be very happy.
So, next time you're feeling a little lazy but have some time to spare, consider making a roast with root vegetables. A delicious, homemade meal without all the work? That's what I call a success!
Notes: Leftovers from this meal make a wonderful hash. Chop up the meat into small pieces and sautee everything in a skillet, mashing the vegetables into the pan as they cook. Top with some sharp cheddar, cover to melt the cheese, and serve. Enjoy your reinvented meal!