Spring lamb followed by Ice Cream. I can’t think of a better Easter dinner and dessert.
Easter is a very special time for families and a real celebration. And celebrating with families normally means enjoying good food, well it does in my house anyway! And one of my favourite dinners of the year is Easter Sunday dinner. I have two lovely recipes to share with you today but first let me wish you and all your family a very happy Easter, I hope it is a good one for you all.
This recipe uses the leg of lamb but you can use a boned butterfly of lamb which cooks very quickly. There is something really delicious about lamb and you can use it with thyme, rosemary and of course garlic.
The boulangere potatoes are potatoes cooked in stock. Now you can use ordinary potatoes or sweet potatoes for this, either will work very well. It is cooked in chicken stock and we use some thinly sliced onion as well. The Roast lamb actually roasts on top of the potatoes and all those juices from the lamb run down and infuse into the potatoes to make for a beautiful flavour.
This dish needs to be made on Easter Sunday morning. There is really no way around that but I promise it will be a Roast leg of lamb dish with a real twist and I promise you will really enjoy it.
Roast Leg of Spring Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes
Ingredients – Serves 6
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
knob of butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
1.5kg (3lb) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
400ml (14fl oz) chicken stock,
1.75kg (4lb) leg of lamb
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper wilted spinach, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
To make the boulangère potatoes, heat the oil in a frying pan with the butter and sauté the onions for 3–4 minutes over a medium heat, until softened but not coloured. Season to taste. Layer the potatoes, onions and thyme leaves in a large roasting tin large enough to fit the leg of lamb. Season each layer as you go and finish with an attractive overlapping layer of the potatoes. Pour over the stock and set to one side.
Using a sharp knife, make small incisions all over the lamb and press a garlic slice and a tiny sprig of the rosemary into each one. Weigh the joint and allow 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes (add a further 20 minutes for well done), then place the lamb carefully on top of the potatoes in the roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven tempera-ture to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes for a leg of lamb this size (1.75kg (4lb)).
Transfer the leg of lamb to a carving platter and cover loosely with foil, then leave to rest for 15 minutes, keeping the boulangère potatoes warm.
To serve, carve the lamb into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with the boul-angère potatoes and wilted spinach.
5 egg yolks
125g (4½oz) caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
300ml (½ pint) milk
100ml (3½fl oz) cream
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds. Whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and thickened. Place the milk and cream in a medium pan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the heated milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth, then pour back into the pan and place over a gentle heat. Cook gently for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Plunge the base of the pan into a sink of cold water and beat occasionally until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You should end up with about 400ml (14fl oz) of ice cream. Use as required.
Variations – Malteser Ice Cream: Roughly crush a 37g bag of Maltesers with a rolling pin and fold into the ice cream, following the ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions on when to add the flavourings (normally when it’s half-frozen).
Caramel Ice Cream: Reduce the sugar in the basic custard mixture to 3 tablespoons and fold in 200ml (7fl oz) caramel sauce, following the ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions on when to add the flavourings (normally when it’s half-frozen).
Cook Ahead: This can be made up to 1 month in advance and kept in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.