Prep: 10 mins.
Cooking: 50+ mins.
Course: Veg side dish
Rating: 2: Easy
This is a great way of cooking veg that means you don’t have to worry about finishing it off at the last minute as it goes in the oven for an hour, then comes out, is put into a serving dish and goes straight to the table.
Find any combination of the following (or you can just do the lot!) :-
- Sweet potatoes
- Sprig(s) fresh or dried thyme (or Mick’s Terbs)
- Cloves of garlic
- Peel and skin as appropriate (see ‘Tricks’n’Tips’), cutting the potatoes to ‘normal’ size, the carrots to pieces 1” long, the sweet potatoes to twice the size of the normal spuds (because they will cook quicker) the swede to 1” cubes, the parsnips so that they are as even a size as possible to allow even cooking, but to be no more than 15mm thick at any point. Don’t peel the onions at all, simply lightly top’n’tail them and cut them in half (the outer skin will be discarded before serving).
- Throw all of the veg except the onions into a plastic carrier bag, sprinkle a little oil over the cut pieces and put in about five or six pinches of Mick’s Terbs – here we go again with apologies – mixed herbs.
- Jiggle and shake the bag so that all the bits of veg have an even covering of oil and herbs, then empty out into an oven tin.
- Place the onions in as well, cut side down and even them all out so that they will cook evenly.
- Drizzle oil all over the veg when they are in position and bung them in an oven at gas mk 5 for an hour. If the other stuff in the oven is in at a lower temperature, put them in for longer, if the oven temp is higher, make the time less. Simple, really. The look of the veg will tell you when they’re done.
- Garlic cloves can be thrown in to roast for half an hour. This makes them super smooth and sweet; lovely. Just squash them with a fork when they’re on your plate. Yum!
- Remember that meat can benefit from a ‘rest’ time sitting under foil after it has come out of the oven, so if cooking, say, the breast of lamb (recipe number 4.38), if the veg has already been in at 130C for 90 minutes it will be nearly done but needing a good fast blast of heat to finish off. If the oven is turned up to gas 7 about ten minutes before the lamb is due to come out, the veg can have twenty minutes in high heat.
It is best to work these things out, on paper if you like, beforehand so that you know what you are doing and when. See Planning a Meal in Tricks’n’Tips.
When you’ve been doing these things for a while and you have gained a little more experience, you’ll be able to fly more by the seat of your pants.