We like the idea of Easter weekend being a slightly indulgent one and allowing for a whole day to be purely dedicated to cooking up an Easter feast for the family. Our advice? Pop a delicious roast in the oven and head out for an afternoon walk or sit back and watch a movie together… a few hours hours later and you have yourself a delicious dinner to enjoy!
A perfect recipe to try out this weekend is this Slow-roasted Shoulder of Lamb from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc...
Serves 4-6 people
1.5kg new season’s shoulder of lamb, plus 700g lamb bones and trimmings
4 pinches of sea salt
4 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked, finely chopped
3 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally
100ml white wine, such as dry chardonnay
400ml-500ml hot water
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
To prepare the lamb: lightly score the skin of the lamb. Rub all over with the salt, pepper, chopped herbs and olive oil. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large heavy-duty roasting pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb bones and meat trimmings and colour, turning from time to time, for 7-10 minutes until lightly golden. Add the garlic and brown for 3 minutes, then take the roasting pan off the heat.
To roast the lamb: sit the seasoned lamb shoulder on top of the bones and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pan, bring the wine to the boil and let it bubble for 30 seconds, then add 400ml water, the bay leaf and thyme. Take the lamb out of the oven and baste the joint with the pan juices, removing any excess fat. Add the wine mixture to the roasting pan, stirring to scrape up the sediment on the base of the pan. Turn down the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Cover the meat loosely with a piece of foil and return to the oven. Roast for a further 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. If, at the end of cooking, the pan juices are reduced right down, stir in about 100ml water to extend the jus.
To serve: remove the lamb from the oven. Strain the juices into a small saucepan and remove the excess fat from the surface. Set the lamb aside to rest. Reheat the juices until bubbling, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a warmed sauce boat. Place the lamb on the table so your guests can help themselves. The lamb will be tender enough to be portioned with a spoon, though you can carve it with a knife if you prefer. My braised vegetables (see you.co.uk) and the turnip and potato gratin would be excellent accompaniments here.
See full recipe here.