Roasts are our favorite cut of meat. Ground meat is convenient and versatile, and steaks are delicious, but nothing quite matches the satisfying and delectable nature of a roast. Roasts hit you first with their aroma. The longer cooking allows the smells of your future meal to fill up the house and stoke your anticipation. Then once you get to the meal, you have a tender and richly flavored meat to dig into. Roast are often paired with other awesome foods like mashed potatoes and gravy or roasted vegetables.
Roasts can be served a number of ways, from thin slices of a tender roast cooked to medium rare to succulent pulled meat from a roast braised low and slow. Whether served by itself or used as part of sandwiches, tacos, or a pasta dish, roasts can be the star of many meals. While roasts can taste great with just some salt and pepper, they can also take on many other accentuating flavors from the classic mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onions to a spicy kick from hot peppers to any other combination you can dream up. Here are just a few recipes showing off the versatility of roasts.
Roasts are often from the parts of the animal that contain more connective tissue, making them tougher cuts requiring longer cooking times to make them tender. These tougher roasts can become tender because a long cooking time allows the connective tissue to be broken down from tough, inedible collagen to highly-digestible gelatin. This conversion to gelatin is the magic that transforms a tough cut of meat into a silky textured, unctuous experience. Along with this culinary greatness, gelatin also provides important amino acids for our body. In simple terms, nutrition is the provision of energy and building blocks for use by our bodies. The body is continually rebuilding itself and can use components from the diet in these repairs. When we eat meat we get plenty of the building blocks for muscles such as the amino acids lysine and methionine but we are missing out on some of the building blocks for tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Gelatin gives us these building blocks such as the amino acid glycine which helps our bodies repair joints and tendons along with muscles. Making roasts not only a good eating experience but also a beneficial part of our nutrition.
Roasts are a great cut of meat to incorporate into your meals and can be part of both gourmet and convenient meals. While roasts take a little planning and cooking skill, the end product is well worth the effort. If you are intimidated by the thought of cooking a roast, had poor roast cooking experiences before, or just want to learn more about roasts, check out our guide “Becoming a Roast Master” below.
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John and Sarah Gilbert farm with their family in North Central Iowa. They care for pigs, cows, and the land to bring you beef and pork you can love. They have a passion for cooking and helping others develop the skills they need to put healthy and delicious home-cooked meals on the table. They can be contacted by email and through Facebook and Instagram.