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A traditional roast dinner is one of those dishes everyone seems to cook a bit differently. It’s not surprising, then, that there are plenty of different ways to make a combi steam oven roast dinner. Once you crack the code, roasting meat in a steam oven saves time and makes your meat incredibly tender and juicy.
Today I’m going to tell you about my own combi steam roast lamb recipe, though if lamb isn’t your thing this will work with a beef or pork roast too.
This dish is slow roasted, giving you a result that’s not unlike a traditional pot roast (except, in my humble opinion, more delicious). 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 simple and can be varied in so many ways. You’ll be able to take this method and make it your own with different vegetables, herbs or spices, and if you don’t like lamb you can do the same thing with a beef or pork roast.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned chicken, that’s because I cover steam oven roast chicken in a whole other post!
Types of meat to roast in a combi steam oven
My favourite meats to cook in terms of both flavour and affordability tend towards the cheaper secondary cuts. These cuts can be tough unless you cook them at low heat for a long time. Think pork or 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.
I enjoy prime cuts of meat like fillet and sirloin, and there is definitely a place for cooking these in a combi steam oven too. Lean, tender cuts like this are great for quick and impressive steam oven roasting, and they definitely up the luxury factor of a meal. If you’d like a couple of recipes for prime cut combi steam roasting, try this lamb fillet with pearl couscous or a pork fillet with roasted pears.
Types of vegetables to roast in a combi steam oven
As far as vegetables go for combi steam roasting, choose almost* anything you like. Our staples are sweet potato, carrots, zucchini and cauliflower or broccoli florets. I cut them into large chunky pieces, around 2 inches (5cm). Steam oven vegetables are wonderfully flavorsome and cook quite quickly without the need for lots of additional fat to help them brown.
*I say almost any vegetables 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. 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 the fat when you’re already all in on the carbs!) and finish them in a hot convection oven (200-220°C/392-428°F) until they’re golden and crunchy.
What to do with leftover slow roasted meat
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.
Steam Oven Roast Dinner
- 3.3 lb 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
- 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme
- 2 medium sweet potatoes about 600g/1.3lb, peeled and cut into 5cm/2” pieces
- 1 large zucchini 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
- Put the meat in a roasting dish or tray and rub all over with half the oil, half the salt and the pepper. Tuck the herb sprigs around the edge of the meat.
- Put meat in the oven and set to 130°C/266°F on combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam, use 80% (if not, don't worry! Just set the temperature and the combi steam setting and the oven will take care of the steam level for you).
- 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.
- 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). Toss with remaining oil and salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes until tender and browned.
- 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.
- 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.