They've long signaled a special meal or ceremony, but roasts are also simple to prepare. Pop one in the oven, baste it, and you're home free.
Tender is the Bite
Well-browned outside, juicy inside -- that's the goal of roasting. To get these results, poultry or tender cuts of meat are cooked in an uncovered pan. The best cuts are tenderloin, rib roasts and top loin.
To Roast or Braise?
Tougher cuts of meat have fibers and sinews that need to be broken down. They benefit from braising -- moist, covered cooking at low temps. Chuck roast, despite the name, is actually an ideal candidate for braising.
Carved from the Past
In past centuries, cooking method signaled social status. Peasants boiled meats in soups and stews; the aristocracy roasted. Even today, the presentation of a roast symbolizes a special meal unlike the everyday.
See a step-by-step for How to Roast Meats.