In her biweekly column, Kitchen Basics, Susan Pachikara of Cardamom Kitchen demystifies essential cooking skills with step-by-step instructions and her own handsome photos. Whether she's showing us how much brown sugar we're meant to "pack"(or is it cram?) into measuring cups or how to detect when our onions are properly caramelized, Susan is the nonna we never had -- until now. Now, go on and get cozy under her wing.
This week, Susan demonstrates how to tie a roast.
I can do without the frenzied shopping that threatens to swallow up Christmas, but please don’t deny me the home cooking it inspires. This time of year, nothing compares to slightly misshapen cookies enveloped with the love of their maker, or quick-breads ringed with a halo of spice. A pair of fine wool gloves might be nice, but in my heart, I know a mug of cocoa stirred up by a friend with marshmallows bobbing about will likely warm me up faster from the inside-out. And sitting down to a carefully roasted lamb or pork roast? That would likely inspire cartwheels in heels! Anyone else feel this way?
Roasting meat doesn’t really require much skill. The trickiest part is tying it with butcher's string, which helps it cook evenly. Tying a roast makes it shapelier and, when stuffed, prevents the filling from slipping out.
How to Tie a Roast
Place the roast on a cutting board with an end facing you (as opposed to having the ends facing left and right).
Hold a long length of string in both hands, gripping an end with one hand. Slide the string under the roast until it is an inch and a half from the end closest to you.
Tie a simple knot around the roast, leaving an inch and a half of string on the short end.
Slide the string up the roast by an inch and a half and hold it in place with your thumb.
Loop the rest of the string under the roast, creating a right angle in the string under your thumb.
Loop the end of the string under the right angle and pull to tighten it.
Repeat steps 4 to 6 to create a simple net all the way up the roast.
When you reach the end, lead the string down and over the end of the roast and turn it over.
Lead the string down, through the middle of the roast, pulling it over and under each piece of string already hugging the roast widthwise.
When you reach the end of the roast, slide the string over the end and flip it over. Tie the string to the short end that you left protruding from the knot you tied first.
I’d love to see your tips for tying a roast! Share them with your fellow cooks in the comments section below.
Are you new to cooking? Tell me what skills you'd like to learn and your idea could be featured in an upcoming post!
Photos by Susan Pachikara
Want more basic tips from Susan? Check out her previous post: Kitchen Basics: Separating Eggs.
Susan writes the blog Cardamom Kitchen to share her culinary experiences as an Indian-American rooted in the Midwest.