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Italian Mixed Roast
What’s better than a roast? A mixed roast!
Arrosto Misto means mixed roast in Italian, and there is something so deliciously extravagant about having a variety of roast meats all at the same time!
This is one of my favourite “roast dinners” to make at home. Although these days, it only happens on special occasions when we have guests, as all my kids went vegetarian some years ago (edit 2021).
What Meat can Be Used?
There is no hard a and fast rule about what meat you can use when making arrosto misto. It really is a matter of taste.
I love using a combination of poultry, game and sausages, to get just the right amount of flavour mix. And because you are mixing a whole lot of different meats, the dish is naturally perfect for a bigger crowd. Here are some examples of meat that I would use:
- duck legs
- chicken drumsticks and thighs
- turkey drumsticks
- sausages – of whatever variety
The key when making arrosto misto is to have a pan large enough to comfortably hold all the meat in a single layer, with perhaps the slightest amount of overlapping. All those big disposable turkey dishes that appear around Christmas would be perfect.
And speaking of Christmas, when I make this mixed roast at the end of the year when cranberries are in season, I always throw in a couple of handfuls into the mix, just for a bit of seasonal flavour.
The mixed roast principle can be taken further with arrosto misto di pesce (fish), arrosto misto di carne (meat) and of course, mixed roast vegetables are no strangers on the table. So use what you like eating, in other words, if you don’t fancy the quail, substitute it with more chicken, turkey or sausages.
Something funny happened many years ago when I was making this for a dinner party. After an hour in the oven, I realised that my oven wasn’t working! So, as a classic example of necessity being the mother of invention, I ended up making Mixed Pot Roast – on the stove!
So, I’m giving you the instructions for both.
What to serve Arrosto Misto with?
That’s pretty easy. Serve the meat with any accompaniments you would usually serve your roasts with, or even break the mould and serve it with some couscous, rice or even pasta (unless you’re Italian, in which case, your mum might frown at you!).
So, a side salad, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, whatever you fancy! And if it’s the holidays, go will the trimmings like cranberry sauce, bread sauce, brussels sprouts, apple sauce and stuffing on the side.
Shall we get cooking?
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Arrosto Misto (Mixed Roast)
- 2-3 kg mixed meat as described above
- 60 ml olive oil, plus slight more, if needed
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 8 cloves garlic left whole
- 2 carrots cut into 2.5cm/1″ length
- 2 celery stalks cut into about 2.5cm (1″) length
- 2 eating apples cored and sliced into 6 pieces each
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 125 ml white wine
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 2 handfuls fresh or frozen cranberries if in season/available
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F).
- Heat half the oil in a large ovenproof dish or dutch oven over medium high heat. The dish should be large enough to take your meat in one layer.
- Brown all the meat in the pan, for about 10 minutes, to ensure a lovely brown colouring. Do this in batches, as required, and put the meat aside on a plate. You shouldn’t really need more oil, as browning the meat will release fat into the pan, but add more, if necessary.
- Next, add the other half of the oil and add all the vegetables, apples and herbs in. Mix thoroughly to coat with the fat from the meat and the oil. Fry for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil.
- Now place all your browned meat amongst the vegetables, in a single layer as much as possible.
- Scatter the cranberries all over, if using.
- On the stove: cook for 1 and a half hours, partially covered, until it’s all cooked, and the sauce has thickened considerably.
- Baste halfway through if the meat is looking dry, and if the sauce is reducing too much, just cover completely.
- Place in the oven and roast, uncovered for 1 – 1 1/2 hours by which time, your birds will be nicely brown and the liquid would have thickened to a lovely syrupy glaze. Baste halfway through. When the meat is pulling away from the duck bone, the whole lot is done. If you think the meat is browning too much, cover the pan for half the cooking time.