5 Tips to Roast Deli Meats
- Choose the right temperature for the size of your deli meat
- Roast deli meats in the right temperature to avoid listeria
- Line your baking dish with a baking paper or parchment paper
- Roast deli meats with vegetables for a twist
- Let the meat cool and rest before slicing
Choose the right temperature for the size of your deli meat
A rule of thumb to remember when cooking deli meats is to know the right temperature for baking them, depending on how big or small the pieces are. For bigger pieces of deli meat, such as a whole leg of ham, or a big chunk of unsliced roast beef, it’s recommended that you opt for a lower temperature for a nice, slow cook that won’t end up burning the outer surface of your deli meat. You will want to roast bigger pieces of meat in a gradual manner. For smaller cuts of deli meat, a higher temperature with a faster cooking time is more appropriate.
Roast deli meats in the right temperature to avoid listeria
Listeria is common among deli meat and cold cuts such as salami, hotdogs, bologna, turkey, and so on, as well as vegetables, cheese, raw sprouts, and smoked seafood. When roasting cold cuts, its best to make sure that the temperature is hot enough to kill listeria bacteria, which is a roasting temperature not lower than 171F. It is important to take precautions such as this, especially for people who are more at risk for listeria such as pregnant women, organ transplant patients, and individuals with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, liver disease, HIV/Aids, and autoimmune diseases.
Line your baking dish with a baking paper or parchment paper
Post-roasting clean up can be quite a chore, especially since deli meats can contain a lot of fat and grease which can be hard to remove once it settles at the bottom of your roasting dish. By using a baking paper or a sheet of parchment paper, you can minimize clean up and prevent wasting time scrubbing a baking dish. Using a baking sheet when roasting your deli meat will also prevent it from sticking to your baking dish. This can be very helpful when roasting thinly sliced bacon or pancetta, as these types of deli meat can stick to the bottom of the baking dish. Having a lining of baking paper or parchment paper also allows you to transfer the roasted deli meat faster and easier from the baking dish to your serving platter.
Roast deli meats with vegetables for a twist
For a healthier deli meat dish that’s easy to create and a cinch to prepare, a one-dish roasted dinner can be achieved by combining sausages or ham with sliced vegetables such as onions, potatoes, and bell peppers. This dish works well with deli meats such as Italian sausages, which are packed with beautiful flavors and aromas. You can easily do this with any kind of deli meat, and your choice of vegetables. A drizzle of olive oil will help keep the dish from sticking, and will help induce moisture. A light seasoning of kosher salt, cracked pepper, plus a few sprigs of herbs can make a world of difference, too. Since deli meats don’t require a long cooking time, you’ll only have to pay attention to the doneness of your vegetables, making sure they aren’t overcooked or undercooked. When done, the deli meats in the dish will be enhanced by the flavor of the vegetables, and the vegetables will take on a unique savory flavor that will complement the roasted deli meats very well.
Let the meat cool and rest before slicing
There are many good reasons why you should let your deli meat cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you slice it. First, when the meat is hot off the oven, the juices and flavors are still distributing inside the meat. Slicing it too early will drain all the juices from your meat, which will result to a dry and unappealing texture once served. By allowing it to cool first, you are allowing the deli meat to retain its moisture, keeping all the flavorful juices intact and thus allowing the flavors to further develop. However, for example, you are roasting unsliced deli meat and you would like to achieve very thin slices. Then, in this case it’s best to chill your meat first in the fridge, then once it’s completely cooled, you must use a sharp cutting knife to slice the meat thinly. It can be very difficult to cut hot meat into thin, deli-style slices.