How to Buy and Cook Meat
Good beef is hung for a minimum of 14 days (preferably for 28 days). The flesh should be dark red with marbling of fat in the flesh.
Lean cuts of lamb are the best, with any fat being a cream, not yellow, colour.
Pork meat should feature a light grain of fat in the meat; all fat should be ﬁrm and white.
Only eat free-range, preferably organic, chicken. The flesh should be firm, scent free and make sure that the bird's thighs are well developed.
Meat Roasting Times
These are guidelines: the timings will depend on the efficiency of your oven, as well as the temperature of the meat when you start.
Beef: 20 mins at 220°C, then 10-15 minutes per 450g/1lb at 190°C for rare, 20 mins per 450g/1lb for medium and 25 minutes per 450g/1lb for well done. Rest for 30 minutes.
Lamb: initial 20 mins at 220°C, then 20 mins per 450g at 190°C. Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Tip: mutton is often seen as a poor-man's meat, inferior to lamb. For hundreds of years, however, it was the only sheep eaten in Britain. Poor quality, tough meat available during World War II contributed to mutton's bad image. Well-hung (for about 10-12 days) and cooked very slowly, this full-flavoured meat is delicious when roasted or used in stews and casseroles.
Pork: initial 20 mins at 220°C, then 35 mins per 450g at 190°C. Check the juices run clear and rest for 30 minutes.
Tip: pork was always thoroughly cooked to prevent the parasitic disease trichinellosis, caused by feeding pigs infected raw meat - a practice now banned in the UK. If you are sure of the provenance of your pork, it is potentially safe to eat it slightly pink. It is not, however, a widely accepted practice.
Chicken: 20 mins per 450g/1lb at 190°C, plus 20 minutes extra. Most small birds take under an hour: turn the heat up to 220°C for the ﬁnal ﬁfteen minutes to crisp off the skin. It is essential to check that the juices run clear. Rest for 30 minutes.