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Column: How to make the perfect Easter roast with Lee Copper from ICE

Spring is an amazing time for cooking, with fresh ingredients, such as new potatoes and spring greens, abundant, and some beautiful cuts of lamb available. Easter falls slightly later than usual this year, but it remains one of the best weekends as far as we at ICE are concerned. Not only is it a bumper two Bank Holidays in a row - what’s not to love about that? - but it’s also all about the chocolate, which means we have a free pass to overindulge and spoil ourselves.

We think of Easter as Christmas’s more relaxed cousin, that just begs to be enjoyed in a leisurely fashion with those you love. It’s the perfect time to get together and enjoy time with family and friends - and what better way than with a perfectly cooked roast?

When cooked properly, and especially at this time of year, there’s little better than delicious roast lamb. You might have heard the old adage, the closer to the bone the sweeter the meat? This is completely true for lamb.

Instead of the traditional leg, perhaps try a shoulder this Easter. Surrounded by bone and layers of fat perfect for basting, the meat is full of flavour and sure to call people back for seconds. Half a shoulder of lamb can comfortably feed six hungry people.

Here’s our guide to the perfect roast-lamb dinner. . .

Roast Lamb

You need

Shoulder of lamb

3 stalks of rosemary

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp Essential Cuisine powdered lamb stock

3 tbsp olive oil

3 twists of black pepper

4 onions peeled and halved with the root still attached


1.Preheat your oven to 170°C.

2. With a sharp knife cut the garlic cloves into three. Using the same knife, make about 12 deep slashes spread over the top of the shoulder. Put the garlic into six of these. Mix the lamb stock and olive oil into a paste and rub it over the shoulder. Halve the rosemary stalks and place these six pieces into the remaining holes.

3. In a roasting dish, lay the halved onions on the base and place the shoulder of lamb on top. Season with the cracked pepper and place in your oven for two hours.

4. Allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes, then remove to a board for carving. Don’t throw the onions away as they have been cooked in the fat from the lamb and make a great vegetable for the plate.

Roast Potatoes

6 large King Edwards

3 stalks of rosemary

2 cloves of garlic

20g salt

50g butter, diced

150g vegetable oil

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them all roughly the same size. Par boil them in salted water, drain and allow to cool on a rack. For the crispiest potatoes, they’re best left in the fridge overnight, uncovered, so they start to dry out.

2. Preheat your oven to 190°C. When it has heated, pour the vegetable oil onto a roasting tray and put it into the oven for 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, chop the rosemary and garlic to a fine dust and mix with the salt. Keep this for later.

4. Add your potatoes to the hot fat and move them around the tray to start with, to cover them. Then put them in the oven and leave them be for 30 minutes. When they have started to colour nicely, add the diced butter, sprinkle the rosemary and garlic salt over the potatoes, and cook for a further 20 minutes before serving.

Horseradish Vinegar Mint Sauce

30g fresh garden mint

20g horseradish vinegar

10g white wine vinegar

5g caster sugar

1. Finely chop the mint and add the vinegars. Sprinkle the sugar until you’ve found your taste.

2. Leave the mixture for at least 30 minutes before serving for the flavours to develop.

Visit infusions4chefs.co.uk for more.

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