Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Culinary IQ: Tuesday, November 29, 2011; Roasting and Grilling

Roasting and Grilling

Yesterday I discussed the categories that are involved in the seven classic French cooking methods. Today I am going to get right down to the methods, starting with roasting and grilling.


Roasting is used to cook large tender pieces in a dry atmosphere, in the oven or on a spit. One of the finished goals of a roast is to create a crust which adds color and aroma and ensures a moist juicy interior.

The roasting process is categorized as follows:

Type: concentration
Humidity: dry
Color: brown

The Roasting Process

  • Prepare the piece by trimming and, if needed, tying with butcher's twine.
  • Place on a rack in a roasting pan, season and generously cover with pieces of butter.
  • Place directly into a hot oven.
  • Turn, baste with fat or oil, and cook to desired doneness. For larger pieces, the heat would be reduced to allow the heat to penetrate without overcooking the outside, whereas smaller pieces would be cooked quickly to prevent overcooking by prolonged exposure to high heat.
  • Allow to rest.
  • Make a jus from the sucs, or browned cooking juices, left in the pan.

A roast is traditionally served with a jus on the side, always uncovered, and sliced table side.


Roasting is applied to:
  • Large pieces of tender butchery meats such as beef tenderloin, pork loin, and veal rack
  • Poultry, usually whole
  • Game, such as venison
  • Large fish, usually whole
  • Vegetables, such as onions and potatoes

Grilling is the process of cooking a tender piece of meat by exposing it directly to a heat source in the open air or a well-ventilated space. 

The goal in grilling is the formation of a crust. Never pierce red meat during the cooking process because the break in the crust will allow juices to escape and dry out the product.

The grilling process is categorized as follows:

Type: concentration
Humidity: dry
Color: brown

The grilling process:
  • Heat and clean the grill.
  • Prepare the piece by drying and, if needed, tying with butcher's twine.
  • Season or marinate in advance.
  • Sear.
  • Cook and mark the piece.
  • Leave to rest.
  • Lustrer with a cold composed butter or other fat or oil.

Grilled foods are traditionally served with a hot emulsion sauce or cold compound butter. A sauce is served on the side, never on the meat, whereas butter is served on the meat or on the side.


Grilling is applied to:
  • Small tender cuts of meat such as steaks, chops, cutlets, scallops, medallions
  • Fish, whole or in pieces
  • Vegetables (may be blanched first)
Tomorrow I will discuss pan roasting and pan-frying.

Adapted from Cuisine Foundations, The Chefs of Le Cordon Bleu, Publisher Delmar Cengage Learning.

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