How to Carve a Roast Joint
Any joint of meat or poultry will be easier to carve if you leave it to stand for about 15 minutes after cooking. This allows the flesh to reabsorb some of the juices and firm up. Cover the joint with foil, or leave it in a turned-off oven.
Rest your carving board or meat dish on a mat or tea towel to prevent slipping. A carving board with spikes will also help to hold the meat firm while you carve.
Rib of beef
Before you buy a rib of beef, ask your butcher to cut through the chine bone (the thick bone at right angles to the ribs), which is too thick to deal with at home. When it is cooked, carve as follows:
1. Stand the joint with the ribs pointing downwards and cut down between the chine bone and the meat to separate the ribs.
2. Hold the knife horizontally and cut between the meat and the end rib to separate the meat from the bone.
3. Carve the separated section of meat downwards into slices of the required thickness. Then repeat Step Two, separating the next section of meat from its rib bone and carving it into slices. Repeat until you have enough slices.
Leg of lamb or pork
1. Place the rounded side on top. Make a vertical cut across the width of the leg near the knuckle.
2. Make a second cut a little farther away from the knuckle at about 45 degrees to the first.
3. Continue carving in this way along the length of the joint. Near the end of the leg it may be necessary to pivot the knife around the central bone to carve slices.
Chicken and turkey
Carving poultry is easier if you remove the wishbone before roasting. Pull back the neck skin to expose the breast flesh and with a small, sharp knife remove the V-shaped wishbone just under the flesh. Wrap the skin back over the breast and roast as usual, with or without stuffing.
1. Place the bird breast up. Cut off one leg, slicing through the joint where the thigh joins the body.
2. Cut through the leg at the ‘knee’ joint to separate the thigh from the drumstick.
3. Separate the wing on the same side. Slice downwards close to the corner of the breast, near where the wing joins the body.
4. Carve the breast meat into neat slices, starting at the wing end and working back towards the legend.
5. Start again with Step One on the other side of the chicken or turkey and work through Steps Two, Three and Four in the same way.
Duck and goose
Carve a duck or goose in the same way as chicken or turkey, but do not halve the leg joint unless it is unusually large. Smaller ducks and geese can simply be cut into quarters.