My easiest ever guide to a combi steam oven roast dinner. This recipe is adaptable for beef, pork or lamb, and you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again.
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A traditional roast dinner is one of those things everyone seems to cook a bit differently, and that's just as true of cooking one in a combi steam oven. Some people cook hot and fast, others low and slow, and some like to dress up their dinner with all manner of flavourings. Some like beef, others pork or lamb. Cuts of meat vary from super-lean prime cuts to the hard-working muscular joints which need low and slow treatment. And chicken is a whole other story we might leave for a separate post (I’ll try not to make you wait too long).
Whatever your preference, a roast dinner is definitely something most meat eaters like to cook every now and then. Today I’m going to tell you about my own combi steam roast lamb recipe, though it works almost identically with similar cuts of beef or pork. It’s not the only way I roast meat in my combi steam, but it is the one I turn to most frequently because it’s so incredibly simple and can be varied in so many ways.
Combi steam slow roasting
I enjoy prime cuts of meat like fillet and sirloin, and there is definitely a place for cooking them, especially in a combi steam oven. Lean, tender cuts like this are great for quick and impressive combi steam roasting, and they definitely up the luxury factor of a meal. If you’d like a couple of recipe examples, here’s a lovely lamb fillet with pearl couscous, and the recent pork fillet with roasted pears.
My favourite meats, though, in terms of flavour and price, tend towards the cheaper cuts which can be tough unless you cook them at low heat for a long time. Think pork and lamb shoulder or leg, pork belly, ribs, beef brisket, chuck and oyster blade. Basically, anything you’d normally use to casserole or pot roast. A combi steam oven really comes into its own for slow roasting and there’s absolutely no need for you to own a slow cooker anymore. Hooray for extra cupboard space in the kitchen.
As far as vegetables go, choose almost* whatever you like. Our staples are sweet potato, carrots, zucchini and often some cauliflower florets, though I didn't use any today.
*I say almost because I do need to mention potatoes, or the lack thereof. I know, I know, a roast without potatoes can hardly be called a roast. I’m sorry. Here’s the thing, though: I do not particularly enjoy combi steam roasted potatoes. They may be perfectly textured on the inside, and in fact they are fine in general, but you will never get a true glassy, shattering crunch on the outside of your potatoes without finishing them off using dry heat. I’d rather have no potatoes than average potatoes, so when I roast this way I often don’t bother adding them to the meal. In case you’re wondering how I treat potatoes when I do bother: steam roughly diced, salted potatoes for about 20 minutes, shake the pan to crumble the edges and rough them up a bit, add LOTS of olive oil or duck fat (no point being half-hearted about this part) and finish them in a hot fan forced oven (200-220°C/392-428°F) until they’re golden and crunchy.
Maximise that meal
I cook a roast dinner like this about once a fortnight, most often with lamb or pork shoulder (though today’s image is a half leg of lamb because the butcher had no shoulder). We usually get three meals out of it: a traditional roast with vegetables the first night, shredded meat ‘wraps’ or soft rolls with salad or leftover veggies the next day, and soup made from any leftover meat and the bones the day or two after that. I love the economy of cooking this way not just for price, but in the ratio of effort to reward and the way one meal can become so many others. It’s the way our mothers and grandmothers always cooked, yet seems to be a bit of a lost skill in the sub-40 age bracket.
If you’d like to try roasting in your steam oven and want a method that’s foolproof, delicious and adaptable, I encourage you to give this a go. It’s not fancy and it doesn’t look like much, but it’s always a winner in my home and I think it will be in yours, too.
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.
Recipe: Combi Steam Roast Lamb and Vegetables
Serves 4 with leftovers
Think of the below recipe as a guide. It’s very accommodating so you can change the meat, change the vegetables, and increase or decrease the cooking time as necessary. As long as you follow the general idea you can’t go too far wrong.
I have specified 1.5kg/3.3lb meat, but in fact anywhere between 1kg/2.2lb and 2.5kg/5.5lb will work much the same, just alter the cooking time up or down by about 30 minutes.
1 x 1.5kg/3.3lb bone-in roasting joint – pork or lamb shoulder, leg or neck, beef chuck or brisket
2-3 tbs olive oil
1-2 tsp coarse salt to taste
½ tsp ground black pepper
A sprig or two of rosemary or thyme
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 600g/1.3lb), peeled and cut into 5cm/2” pieces
1 large or 2 small zucchinis (about 600g/1.3lb), cut into 5cm/2” pieces
3 large carrots (about 300g/10oz), peeled and quartered lengthways
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, squashed with the back of a knife
1. Put the meat in a roasting dish or tray and rub all over with about half the oil, half the salt and the pepper. Tuck the herb sprigs around the edge of the meat.
2. Put meat in the oven and set to 130°C/266°F on combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam, use 80%. Cook the meat for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone. The time will depend on the cut of meat, but the only time I’ve needed the full 4 hours was for a very tough piece of beef chuck.
3. When the meat is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to rest, loosely covered with a piece of aluminium foil. Increase the oven heat to 210°C/410°F on combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam, use 30%. Put the vegetables single layer into a tray (I use the 2/3 size stainless steel tray which came with my oven). Drizzle with the remaining oil and sprinkle with remaining salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes until tender and browned.
4. While the vegetables cook, strain off the pan juices from the meat, skim the fat and put juices in a small bowl or jug for serving.
5. When the vegetables are done, arrange them around the rested meat and serve at the table for everyone to help themselves. You can carve the meat into thick slices or, as I do, just pull big shreds away with a couple of forks. Drizzle everything with the pan juices.
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And if you’re after more delicious combi steam baking recipes, the Easy Meals Index page has plenty. Try the Chicken, Pumpkin and Chorizo Tray Bake or maybe, if slow cooked meat is on your mind, the Sticky Asian Beef.