I almost can’t credit the fact that it has been over four years since I first wrote a post about Roast Vegetables. Since then, I have revisited and played around with the basic technique scores of times but, of late, I been combining meat and vegetables in the same roasting pan so as to produce ‘one dish’, full meal combinations. As with stews, or ‘slow cooker’ meals, the idea is to capitalize on the melding of flavors but, here, we get to exploit the unique caramelization effects of cooking using a dry, and high, heat…
I don’t have an actual recipe for you today… rather my post just details one particular combination I put together for a particular meal one evening. In future posts, I want to develop the idea and document my experiences but I am really interested in this style of ‘one-dish’ cookery so I would really love to get feedback from readers in the form of dishes they have tried themselves.
Anyway, read on to see what I did here…
The two main veggies I used here are Parsnips and Zucchini, which I cut to roughly the same size chunks for even cooking. I find that root vegetables are at their best by roasting but many others are excellent as well. On this particular occasion, I had a few tomatoes and a small onion for added flavor so I tossed them in to the mix as well.
Many ‘Roast Vegetable’ recipes lay down ‘rules’ for good results, including how much oil to use, how far to space the vegetables, how long to cook, and at what temperature. The more I cook, and the more I read what others have done, the more I think that there are MANY ways to reach the same culinary destination.
I roasted at everything 425 degrees for about an hour using just a little oil plus some thyme and salt for flavoring, and the above picture is taken at about the forty minute mark. As you can see on the very first picture, my veggies are not piled on top of each other, nor are they purposely spread out in the pan as some insist you must do.
As for including meat in the ‘veggie’ pan, I chose pork chops here and they worked fairly well except that these particular ones were a little too thin for the cooking period. They ended up being a little (if not overly) dry, and I would say that the fattier, and BBQ thick style chops would be better. I actually like the idea of using smaller pieces of meat interspersed with the veggies and have tried a couple of permutations on that basic idea already.
Anyway, this is what my supper looked like from this experiment. There is a bit of blackening on some veggies but, actually, that added quite a bit to the overall goodness of the taste even if it doesn’t enhance the appearance overly. Roast veggies, however, really are a rustic, homey sort of food and tend not to look as pretty as, say, steamed ones. Indeed, I see that many recipes for roasted Brussels Sprouts expressly provide that you should cook them until almost black on the outside. I am going to try that fairly soon and will post the results in due course.