OK, so last week the Accidental Locavore got you started down the roasting trail. But what if you don't want to cook a big hunk of meat? What if you have something like a chop or a bunch of chops? For pan roasting, the list of essentials is shorter but you need to have the right gear and be a little more hands-on. Two things are critical here and they're both in your head -- letting the meat sear long enough in the pan and letting it rest long enough at the end. As with regular roasting, letting your meat come to room temperature will give you better results, but if you forget, it's not critical.
For this you need:
- The oven again
- A stove-top burner that you can get some decent heat out of
- A cast-iron skillet or an oven-proof pan
- Meat -- this time chops, a steak, fish. Whatever you use has to have some thickness. Think of this as the indoor version of grilling something.
- Spices: salt and pepper at a minimum, Montreal Steak Seasoning is my go-to for steaks, and any fresh herbs, or garlic.
- Olive oil and/or butter
Pan roast it:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat the pan over high heat. Pat a little olive oil into your meat, along with the salt and pepper and whatever spices you're using. Sear the meat on one side until it's dark golden brown. This is going to take a minute or two longer than you're probably comfortable with (see the intro), but don't mess with it! When it's got nicely brown, turn it and let the other side sear for about a minute. Toss the pan in the oven and cook to desired doneness. Place it on a plate or cutting board and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. You're going to be tempted to start carving into that great-looking piece of meat, but don't (also see the intro)! Use the time to make a quick pan sauce (toss a little wine or some stock into the pan, scrape up the brown bits and let them melt into the stock, add some herbs, a little butter or a tablespoon of cream to finish it, taste and adjust seasonings) or cook a veg. Carve, serve and enjoy!