Bill Granger recipes: Our chef shares his painless traditional Easter Sunday menu
Bill's menu is so low-maintenance, it allows you to leave the lamb slow-roasting in the oven while you run around hunting for eggs
Sunday 13 April 2014
Easter is not as big a celebration in Australia as it is here – well, it wasn't in my family, anyway. But never one to say no to a party, I've fully embraced the tradition since moving to the UK.
In my book, entertaining should never feel like a chore – keep it simple, tasty and stress-free and you can't go wrong.
In fact, this menu is so low-maintenance, it allows you to leave the lamb slow-roasting in the oven while you run around hunting for eggs. (Nobody's too old for an egg hunt, are they?)
I'm serving it with a punchy potato dish that on paper might sound pretty bizarre, but it just works, trust me. And for dessert, a prep-ahead clafoutis – roast the rhubarb and make the batter in the morning, ready to assemble and pop into the oven when you sit down to lunch. Simple, yes, but never boring…
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
This simple nibble will keep everyone happy while you wait for the lamb to do its thing in the oven.
75g plain flour
½ tsp sea salt
150ml chilled sparkling water
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp chopped mint
Light-flavoured olive oil, for deep frying
3 courgettes, cut into 2cm-thick slices
For the dip
5 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
Juice ½ lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk in the sparkling water to make a batter. Stir in the sesame seeds and mint. Heat k the oil in a large high-sided pan to 180C, or until a piece of bread fries golden in 20 seconds. Briefly dip the courgette slices in batter then fry, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you fry the remaining slices.
Combine all the ingredients for the dip and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately alongside the courgette.
Simple nibble: Sesame-and-mint-fried courgette (Kristin Perers)
Slow-cooked leg of lamb with creamy Parmesan- and-anchovy potatoes
Cooking the lamb this way will make it so tender you'll be able to shred it off the bone.
2-2½kg leg of lamb on the bone
1 tbsp dried oregano
Juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ kg new potatoes
5 anchovy fillets, torn
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
125ml double cream
4 thyme sprigs
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
Green salad, to serve
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Put the lamb in a large roasting tin and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with the oregano and pour over the lemon juice. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 20 minutes, or until browned. Add 200ml water to the roasting tin and cover the tin with foil.
Reduce the oven to 160C/325F/Gas3 and roast the lamb for another 3½ hours, basting every 30 minutes. Remove the roasting tin from the oven. Pour the juices into a small pan and set aside. Arrange the potatoes around the lamb. Return to the oven for 1 hour then remove the lamb from the tin and set aside to rest.
Top the potatoes with the anchovies, chilli and garlic. Pour in the cream and top with the thyme, butter and cheese. Increase the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6 and return the potatoes to the oven for 10 minutes.
Serve the lamb with the heated pan juices, potatoes and a crisp green leaf salad on the side.
This is such a beautiful, comforting dessert. Perfect for a low-key celebration.
Comforting dessert: Rhubarb clafoutis (Kristin Perers)
80g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
50g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 egg, plus 3 egg yolks
125ml soured cream
50g unsalted butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the rhubarb
500g rhubarb, cut into 5cm pieces
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp chopped ginger
Pared zest and juice 1 small orange
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Place the rhubarb in a 20cm x 30cm ovenproof dish, top with the sugar, ginger, orange zest and butter then squeeze on the orange juice. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until just tender. Set aside.
Now combine the sugar, flour and almond meal in a large bowl. Lightly whisk the eggs into the milk then gently stir this into the dry ingredients. Stir in the soured cream, butter and vanilla extract. Spoon half the rhubarb out of the baking dish then pour in the batter. Dot the reserved rhubarb over the top and bake for 35 minutes. Dust with caster sugar and serve warm.
Food stylist: Rosie Reynolds; Props stylist: Rachel Jukes
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