Most of us will have to cook for our families at home this Easter as going out is simply not an option in the current circumstances, but this doesn’t need to be a chore, here is an easy alternative idea to a traditional Sunday roast – the perfect Easter lamb.
If you struggle with the timings of getting everything ready for the table at the same time when you are making a roast dinner then this method of Braising your Lamb can take the stress out of cooking for Easter as it can be made and left to stand while you concentrate on getting your vegetables ready.
AT A GLANCE:
Perfect for beginners
Preparation time: 20 minutes, with option of infusing overnight if time allows.
Cooking time: 3 hours
A heavy based cooking pot with a tight fitting lid
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1.8kg (4lb) bone-in leg of lamb
12 cloves garlic, peeled
Few sprigs fresh sage
Few sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 sticks of celery coarsely chopped (you can use carrots or any root vegetable here)
4 fresh (or dried) bay leaves
2 cups stock (veg or lamb)
Preheat the oven to 160 °C, 325°F
Pat your leg of lamb dry with kitchen roll and make several deep incisions throughout the roast with a paring knife. Randomly insert garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and fresh sage into those incisions. You can insert a combination of more than one fresh herb in each of these incisions, for an even more flavoursome roast. If time allows, you could even wrap your lamb in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to let the meat infuse for a couple of hours, or better yet, overnight for an extra delicious flavour.
Put the oil in a heavy based pan (one with a tight fitting lid as you will need this later) set over high heat. Sprinkle the leg of lamb generously with salt and pepper and place it in the hot pan; brown well on all sides. Remove the lamb and set to one side.
In the same heavy based pan place the onions, celery, or carrots (you are simply make a vegetable trivet here which not only adds flavour but keeps the lamb off the base of the pan during the long cooking process, to save it from sticking and burning to the pan). Also add the bay leaves, 4 or 5 garlic cloves, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and fresh sage as well as the stock.
Place the browned lamb back into the pan cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is tender and detaches easily from the bone when pulled with a fork. NB. It is a low oven temperature as it is a slow cooking method, however ovens do vary so check half way through.
This will happily rest and stand for 45 mins or more if you leave the lid on while you sort your vegetables out. (Resting the lamb for at least 20 minutes after removing from the oven actually helps when it comes to slicing)
Serve, accompanied with fresh vegetables and a speedy tip…. the tasty sauce that formed at the bottom of the braising pan makes a good gravy when thickened with some gravy granules (don’t forget to remove the herbs before serving)!
Mint sauce or redcurrant jelly compliment any lamb dish
Check the braising pan has a tight fitting lid as it is the steam and condensation of the juices that cooks the lamb without it drying out. If the liquid is drying out then add an extra cup of water. If the lid isn’t a tight fit then use foil and then the lid on top to create as good a seal as possible.
And finally…. Enjoy your Perfect Easter Lamb in the comfort of your own home.
SHOP THE LOOK
Audrey Spencer, owner
My passion for cooking stems from my childhood growing up on my family's farm. Mealtimes would often involve being joined by friends, family and neighbours, all eager to enjoy the wonderful farmhouse fayre. As a professional chef I’ve worked in award winning restaurants, boutique country house hotels, and even the Royal Palace! Today, I hope my recipes can help you to enjoy good food, and good company, in style.