It feels like Spring is in the air! The daffs and crocuses in our garden are in full bloom and the evenings are getting longer. I love this time of year and Easter always feels like a real turning point in the seasons. Enjoy this fantastic Roast Garlic & Rosemary Leg of Lamb with Rich Red Wine Gravy and Simnel Cake for a perfect Easter Sunday Lunch! Listen to the podcast here (40mins in)
Roast Leg of Lamb
1 leg of lamb
3 Cloves Garlic, sliced
A couple of rosemary sprigs
1 carrot cut into chunks, no need to peel
1 onion quartered, no need to peel
1 stick of celery cut into chunks
A few drops of soy sauce
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper
For the gravy:
A knob of butter
1 small onion, finely diced
A teaspoon of tomato puree
A tablespoon of flour
250 mls lamb stock
A dash of red wine
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C
- Placing the lamb on a board, use the sharp tip of a small knife to make incisions about ½ a cm deep all around the lamb. Brush with a little rapeseed oil.
- Poke the garlic and the rosemary into the holes.
- Season the lamb generously.
- Place the carrot, onion and celery into a roasting dish and add a little soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a cup of water. Place the lamb on top and place in the oven for 2 hours.
- For the gravy, make the roux by melting the butter in a saucepan and adding the flour. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato puree and stir for about 30 seconds
- Add the wine and allow to bubble up until almost evaporated
- Add the lamb stock and reduce to a simmer for at least 30mins, stirring every now and then
- When the meat is done, remove the lamb to a warmed dish to rest (for at least 10 mins) and pour the juices from the roasting dish into the gravy.
- The gravy should now be rich and flavourful. Pour through a sieve for a smoother finish (optional)
175g/6oz butter or margarine
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g/6oz plain flour
½ tsp ground mixed spice (optional)
350g/12oz mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
55g/2oz chopped mixed peel
½ lemon, grated zest only
1-2 tbsp apricot jam
1 free-range egg, beaten for glazing
1kg Marzipan or Almond Paste
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs until well incorporated and then sift in the flour, salt and mixed spice (if using) a little at a time. Finally, add the mixed dried fruit, peel and grated lemon zest and stir into the mixture.
- Put half the mixture into a greased and lined 18cm/7in cake tin. Smooth the top and cover with the circle of marzipan. Add the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top leaving a slight dip in the centre to allow for the cake to rise. Bake in the preheated oven for 1¾ hours. Test by inserting a skewer in the middle – if it comes out clean, it is ready. Once baked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
- Brush the top of the cooled cake with the apricot jam. Divide the remainder of the almond paste in half; roll out a circle to cover the top of the cake with one half and form 11 small balls with the other half.
- Place the circle of paste on the jam glaze and set the balls round the edge. Brush the cake topping with a little beaten egg.
- Preheat the grill to high. Place the cake onto a baking tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the marzipan begins to brown. Alternatively, lightly heat the cake topping using a cook’s blow torch, until the marzipan is golden-brown.