Traditional Easter Lunch
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Don’t forget the date of Easter
Slow Roast Lamb with all the Trimmings
Roast Lamb is a traditional Easter meal and this recipe produces a great result every time. It uses one of the cheaper cuts of lamb, the shoulder, and by cooking it at a low temperature for 4 hours, it produces a gorgeously tender result. The meat falls off the bone and the juices it produces make a really tasty gravy.
Having a long cooking time, it’s ideal as a meal to start early in the day whilst you go on an Easter outing with family or friends. It also doesn’t matter if you are late home from an Easter walk or trip to the pub, as overcooking by a hour or so will not do this dish any harm whatsoever.
The following recipe serves between 4 to 6 (depending on the size of the shoulder and appetites)
Ingredients for Slow Roast Lamb
Shoulder of free range lamb
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
1 large bulb of garlic, broken into single cloves
2 sticks of celery, chopped into inch long pieces
A handful of fresh rosemary
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the gravy
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 pint of chicken or vegetable stock
Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.
Place all the prepared vegetables in the bottom of a large casserole dish or roasting tray along with half of the rosemary. Score the top of the lamb and place on top of the vegetables. Cover the lamb with the remaining rosemary, season with salt and pepper and then drizzle over the olive oil.
Cover the dish with the casserole lid or tinfoil, making sure that it’s sealed tightly. Place in the oven and turn the temperature down to 180 degrees and leave it to cook gently for 4 hours.
Towards the end of the cooking time check on the lamb and test that it’s cooked by pulling the meat gently. If it’s cooked properly it should be falling away from the bone and very easy to shred.
Once cooked, remove the lamb from the heat and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile you can make the gravy from the pan juices.
To make the gravy, remove the vegetables and rosemary from the pan. Before you do this you can give them a gentle press to make sure all their flavours are left in the juices. Then drain off any excess fat. Next place the pan over a gentle heat and add the plain flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes stirring continuously until you have a thick paste. Then gradually add the stock stirring all the time to ensure a smooth gravy. If you find you have lumps forming, a good trick for dealing with lumpy gravy is to use a whisk. Using a hand whisk, whisk vigorously until the lumps disappear. Keep adding stock until you have a gravy of the consistency you prefer.
The lamb is perfect served with roast potatoes and parsnips and a selection of steamed vegetables.