Easter Weather FoodCast on LMFM-Roast Leg of Lamb & Simnel Cake

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

Roast Leg of Lamb

 

Serves 8-10

 

Ingredients:

 

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

Rapeseed oil

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

 

Method:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C
  2. 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.
  3. Poke the garlic and the rosemary into the holes.
  4. Season the lamb generously.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Add the wine and allow to bubble up until almost evaporated
  8. Add the lamb stock and reduce to a simmer for at least 30mins, stirring every now and then
  9. 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.
  10. The gravy should now be rich and flavourful. Pour through a sieve for a smoother finish (optional)

Simnel Cake

175g/6oz butter or margarine

175g/6oz soft brown sugar

3  eggs, beaten

175g/6oz plain flour

Pinch salt

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.