SEASONAL EASTER MAIN COURSE

On the more rare occasion that we eat meat these days, I buy the best quality, grass fed if possible, that I can. Then, most often I will just season it properly and cook it really simply. Lamb at this time of year can be wonderful and you really don’t need to do a huge amount to it to make it really memorable. I like shoulder as it’s hugely forgiving and full of flavour. It’s seriously low maintenance – all you need is a bit of time. Check out Basil and Tom’s fabulous new butcher/fishmonger offering. 

All this low maintenance cooking means that you have more time and energy to give to the accompaniments – my favourite bit. Making seasonal vegetables as much, if not more, the star of the show is definitely where I am at. That doesn’t mean you need to serve hundreds of different sides, but it does mean that you can give what you do have a bit more love… 

Ingredients:

A shoulder of British lamb (I prefer bone in but by all means used boned if you want easy carving)

Large  branches/handfuls of herbs (oregano, marjoram, thyme and bay leaves are my favourites for this – but by all means include rosemary and sage if you happen to have them)

1 tbs or so of runny honey 

A spritz of Amalfi (or regular) lemon juice 

1 brown skinned onion 

Salt and pepper 

A large mug of water

Equipment:

Your largest roasting tray 

Heavy duty foil

Compostable baking parchment 

Method:

  • First Pre-heat your oven to 200C (180C fan) for a first blast of heat to get the cooking process going (after that you will be cooking low and slow)
  • Then make the foil and parchment envelope that you will cook the lamb in by lining the baking tray with a long piece of foil (three times as wide as the roasting tin) with the same length of parchment on top 
  • Then place inside a layer of the herbs, followed by the sliced onion (skin on) and then lay the well seasoned lamb on top
  • Drizzle on the honey and massage this with the spritz of lemon juice and olive oil all around the lamb
  • Finally lay the rest of the herbs on top and pour in the water 
  • Wrap the parcel up so there is a little room around the meat for the steam to develop but secured tightly so all the flavour remains enclosed inside
  • Place the lamb in the hot oven for 30 minutes and then turn the oven to 160C (140C fan)
  • Cook the lamb slowly for around four hours, till it starts to fall apart and look and smell wonderful
  • Once you are happy, remove the meat from the parcel and pour the juices from the parcel into the tin
  • Skim off the fat leaving the delicious herby juices behind
  • Pour this self made gravy into a warmed jug and set aside
  • Return the lamb to the same tin and give it a blast in a hot oven 200C (180C fan) for around 15-20 minutes uncovered – this gives the meat a beautiful caramelised colour and amps up the flavour
  • The meat should be falling apart and delicious – drizzled with a little of the warmed lamb juices before serving with the Paper Thin Potatoes and Purple Sprouting Salad, the jug of warmed lamb juices and perhaps a little quince or red currant jelly 

Other recipes in our Easter Menu:

SHARING STARTER
Roasted Baby Artichokes with Amalfi Lemon and Garlic Cream

MAIN COURSE
Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb in a Blanket of Herbs and Honey
Paper Thin Crispy Thyme and Garlic Potatoes
Warm Purple Sprouting and Romanesco Salad with Crispy Caper and Amalfi Lemon Vinaigrette

DESSERT
Honey and Hazelnut Torte with Candied Hazelnuts, Amalfi Lemons and Rhubarb Ribbons 

SEASONAL DRINK
Rhubarb and Amalfi Lemon Cordial 

CHEESE
St Jude with Pickled Cherries and Hazelnut and Seed Crackers