Nici Wickes: Toasting the roast

By Nici Wickes

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Roast turkey with hazelnut and lemon stuffing and potato salad, vegetable and haloumi salad. Picture / Babiche Martens
Roast turkey with hazelnut and lemon stuffing and potato salad, vegetable and haloumi salad. Picture / Babiche Martens

Recently I hosted the launch of a very important event on our culinary calendar - Selaks New Zealand Roast Day. Why so important? Because when we talk about our culinary identity, surely the humble Sunday roast is up there with the meals that most evoke a sense of us, our place, our country.

In a room jam-packed with food and wine writers, chefs and food enthusiasts from up and down the country, the memories and stories of roast dinners passed were bandied about with such passion and nostalgia.

Discussion became spirited when it came to the topic of how to cook the perfect roast: adding stock, wine or water to the roasting pan during cooking was hotly debated while for some, only a decent dollop of dripping is permissible.

Those who ascribe to British tradition will always consider that roast beef comes with Yorkshire puddings and gravy, no questions asked, but if your leanings are more continental then you're just as likely to marinate the meat in red wine before pot roasting with garlic and plenty of hard herbs.

The most bizarre suggestion to gauging whether the meat was cooked or not was putting a knife into the middle, then placing the blade on your chin - if it's hot, your meat is done!

The tips and tricks swirled around with all agreeing on one thing at least - nothing beats a roast. It's part of who we are.


• Find the recipe for the roast in the image above here - and share your own roast tips with us below!

- VIVA

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