With or without a crowd, a roast is a great centerpiece for a meal, if for no other reason than roasts are easy. Throw the meat in the oven and you don’t have to think about it for a while. You can turn your attention to side dishes, desserts and setting the table, or leave the kitchen altogether and take a shower or catch an episode of “The Queen’s Gambit” or “The Crown.” With the right size roast, once you’ve shut that oven door, you are free for a good two hours, often more, to do whatever is on your list.
If you are looking for as easy as it gets, you can do as my mother did. A purist, she seasoned our roasts with salt and pepper and let the flavor of the meat shine. No sauce, no gravy — just the jus from the pan and the moat of the carving board. Toss in some potatoes and a few other vegetables and the bulk of your meal takes care of itself. (You can then focus on dessert!)
Since you are not my mother, you may want to dress it up a bit, say with a glaze or a sauce or a coating of herbs, seasoned breadcrumbs or chopped nuts for additional texture and flavor. Whether you favor beef or pork (or duck or fish or poultry or cauliflower), this list is full of showstoppers, many of which you can set and forget.