This Is How You Should Roast Everything This Winter

Winter is the perfect time for roasting. The cold weather outside begs for comfort foods like roast chicken or beef for dinner, or roasted vegetables for soups or side dishes. But there’s an art to the cooking technique, which chef Vivian Howard has mastered.

Howard, a chef, restaurateur and star of the PBS show, “A Chef’s Life,” demonstrates how to properly roast meats and vegetables for the best results.

The key to roasting — which means cooking something in the dry heat of an oven or closed grill — is making sure your oven is pre-heated before you start cooking, and to give your food room to breathe in a pan or on a baking sheet so the ingredients can brown evenly. “Don’t pile your mushrooms or potatoes on top of each other,” or have your foods touching if possible, Howard explains.

You also need to make sure your food is placed in the center of the oven during cooking. If you have multiple baking sheets, remember to rotate them so food on each tray cooks evenly.

Watch the video to see exactly how Howard does it, including what she does to prep her food for roasting. Then check out her recipe for spice-rubbed pork tenderloin with apple-cherry salsa below:


Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cherry Salsa
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup firmly packed lightly brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 ½ pounds pork tenderloin, cleaned and trimmed

1 cup fresh or thawed sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1 tart green apple, diced
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons honey
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the pork: Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Coat lightly and evenly with oil. Stir together the sugar, ground chipotle, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. Rub evenly over the pork tenderloins. Place tenderloins on a baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 145°F, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. The internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees while the meat rests.

Meanwhile, stir together all of the ingredients for the salsa together in a large bowl. Slice pork and serve with the salsa.

(Produced by Markay Media/Deep Run Productions. Featuring Vivian Howard; Culinary Producer: Sheri Castle; Music: Randy Maples)

Want more on roasting? Check out these stories:

Break Out the Blow Torch: Thomas Keller’s Prime Rib Roast Recipe

Why You Should Roast Your Chicken Upside Down

How to Put a Roast Chicken on the Table in Just 35 Minutes