Rôtis: Roasts for Every Day of the Week is a sensational book, at once practical and oh-so-workable, yet lighthearted in its approach to cooking the juiciest, most succulent of roasts. It is written with the ease and simplicity that results only from the expertise of a master chef. The celebrated chef and author Stéphane Reynaud, owner of Villa9trois in Montreuil, France is that renowned expert, and his mastery of the roast communicates easily to the home cook. Every day is a feast with Rôtis at your side.
Rôtis is a happy book, filled with humorous illustrations, and exceptional color photography. We can almost see the smile on Reynaud's face when he decided to approach Rôtis by organizing according to the day of the week, rather than follow traditional cookbook organization. Every day features an individual choice of meat, with several recipes for that selection, and with color photographs to go with it. The recipes cut to the chase: no extra words or steps are there to slow down the preparation, and these recipes are so luscious that they might even be called voluptuous.
Follow Reynaud's plan and cook a different cut of meat on each night. The days of your week will be richly varied:
Monday is for roast beef, whether cooked on a bed of onions, or with green olives, or studded with garlic. The reader can choose between a simple but succulent roast cooked on a bed of salt, or spend a little more time and cook an elegant filet en croûte. There is a bonus page with a guide to achieving the perfect roast whether rare, medium, or very rare. A second bonus page holds four sauces to go with beef, each simply written and easy to follow.
Tuesday is for veal, and you can try such possibilities as a deliciously moist veal with an Indian accent, or a roast veal with preserved lemons. There are also recipes for neck of veal, rolled veal breast, and rump of veal. A separate page has four ideas for serving veal shanks - with spring vegetables, chanterelle mushrooms, fennel, or osso buco style.
Wednesday is roast chicken and game day. There are recipes for chicken and duck, but there are also recipes for rabbit, roast pigeons, roast guinea fowl, and roast turkey. There are two bonus pages, one devoted to ideas for stuffing chicken, and the second for stuffing chicken under the skin. Yet a third bonus page is devoted to ideas for serving duckling.
Thursday is for pork. Reynaud was raised on pork and built his considerable fame on pork. With ten recipes, Reynaud uses pork loin, pork ribs, a rack of pork, and pork belly. There is a range of recipes, all so good that picking only one is almost impossible. The home cook can try a plain and simple roast pork, or any one of those roasted with a dizzying selection of flavorings: Earl Grey tea, Dijon mustard, ginger, endive and orange, cilantro,or toasted garlic. Cook a roast in in a salt crust, or with brown ale and prunes, or with bacon and Comté cheese. No bonus page is needed with such variety, but Reynaud includes one, offering four ideas for serving rack of pork.
Friday was once a meatless day, and Reynaud opts for roasting fish on Fridays. There are recipes for roasted cod, monk fish, sea bass, tuna, sea bream, and salmon. Again, a bonus page gives four ideas for stuffing fish.
Saturday is the day for roasted lamb. There are recipes for roasting rack of lamb, leg of lamb, lamb shoulder, lamb shanks The bonus page holds four ideas for stuffing lamb shoulder, from fresh herbs to zucchini, sausage meat, and pesto.
Sunday is for roast game, and there are recipes for fillet of venison, roast leg of venison, fillet of wild boar and roasted wild boar. But this is Sunday, a day of relaxation, and Reynaud includes an additional chapter for using leftovers on Sunday evening. The recipes range from meatballs with tomato (not tomato sauce, but diced tomato), for stuffed peppers or stuffed tomato, for soup, salad, sandwich, French shepherds' pie, Thai-style beef croquettes.
Even a perfect roasted feast demands vegetables and side dishes. There are recipes such as Minted Zucchini, Potatoes with Herbs, Eggplant Stew, Slow-Cooked Ratatouille, Basque Vegetable Stew, Provencal Vegetable Tian, Cardoon Gratin with Marrow, even a Sauté of Forgotten Vegetables.
Rôtis: Roasts for Every Day of the Week is a luscious, elegant, and easily-followed book that will turn everyday meals into gourmet dinners. Cold winter days will be warm and cozy.
From Rôtis: 4 Ideas for Stuffing Chicken