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April Eats

Recipes for Easter

Roast Lamb with Parsley and Pine Nut Stuffing

Roast lamb

1 boned saddle of lamb

lamb gravy

Stuffing

2 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley

50g of pine nuts

250ml of double cream

6 garlic cloves

120g of breadcrumbs

salt

pepper

Vegetables

100g of broad beans

100g of peas

1 sprig of mint

12 carrots

12 turnips

50g of unsalted butter

Method:

To make the stuffing, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Pick the leaves from the parsley stalks and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain well and squeeze until very dry in a clean tea towel.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan, stirring frequently, until they are light golden. Alternatively you can toast them in an oven set to 180˚C for 6-8 minutes.

Pour the content of the pan into an ovenproof gratin dish. Cover with baking parchment paper and a layer of foil. Place the dish in a large deep roasting tray and carefully pour hot water around it to make a bain marie. Bake for 1 hour, removing the foil and paper for the final 20 minutes.

To cook the lamb, preheat a second oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7. Roast the saddle for 25 minutes for pink meat and 10 more minutes for well done, then leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

Lay the saddle of lamb on a work surface and carefully trim away as much fat as possible from the flank part. Trim the two fillets as well and season all the meat with salt and pepper.

Spoon the stuffing down the centre of the saddle. Lay the two fillets on top and roll up the joint, tying it tightly and evenly with kitchen string. Put the stuffed lamb on a roasting tray and leave until ready to cook.

o prepare the vegetables, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the broad beans and cook for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in cold water, then peel away the skins. In a separate pan of boiling salted water, cook the peas and sprig of mint together for 2-3 minutes, then drain.

Peel or scrape the carrots and boil them along with the turnips in a pan of lightly salted water until just tender.

Reheat the blanched vegetables in a pan of boiling water, then drain them and toss together in the butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat the lamb gravy through in a small saucepan.

To serve, remove the string and carve the lamb into fairly thick slices – serve with vegetables, then pour on some gravy or jus and serve.

April Moussaka for April Beachspoke recipes

Moussaka with Feta Topping

1.3kg aubergines (about 4 large)

Olive oil, for brushing

1kg lamb mince

2 large onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbsp tomato purée

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1½ tbsp dried mixed herbs

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

For the topping

2 large eggs

500g Greek yogurt

200g feta, crumbled

25g finely grated Parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Thinly slice half the aubergines diagonally, brush on 1 side with a little oil and lay on 2 large baking trays. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway and brushing with more oil, until tender and turning golden. Set aside in a bowl and repeat with remaining aubergines. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6.

Meanwhile, heat a large casserole or deep, wide frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the mince and cook, breaking up with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the meat has browned and the onions have softened. Tip into a colander to drain off the excess fat, then return to the pan.

Add the tomato purée, cinnamon and mixed herbs to the mince and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, half-fill 1 can with water and rinse out into the pan. Season and simmer rapidly for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Mix the eggs into the yogurt, until combined. Stir in the feta and season well with black pepper.

Layer up the moussaka. Divide half the mince between 2 deep (about 1.75 litre) oven- and freezer-proof dishes. Divide half the aubergines between them, in a layer on top of the mince. Season, then top each with the remaining mince, then the remaining aubergines. Divide the yogurt mixture between them, spreading evenly on top of the aubergines. Sprinkle each with the Parmesan. Set 1 moussaka aside to cool, then freeze (see freezing tip).

Put the other moussaka on a baking tray and cook for 35-40 minutes, until piping hot and golden – cover with foil if the top is looking too brown. Divide between plates and serve with cooked peas or a salad.

April garlic and greens pie for April Beachspoke recipes

Wild garlic and goat’s cheese pie

250g butter

2 x 20g bunches fresh dill

50g wild rocket leaves

300g wild garlic leaves (or 300g mature spinach leaves, plus 2 chopped garlic cloves), thick stalks already removed

450g soft, rindless goat’s cheese, crumbled

50g hard goat’s cheese, finely grated

5 large free-range eggs, beaten

50g fresh white breadcrumbs

4 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

75g fresh filo pastry

Method

Put the butter into a pan and melt it over a low heat. Pour the clear butter into a bowl, leaving behind the milky liquid at the bottom of the pan (you can discard this).

Finely chop the dill, coarsely chop the rocket, then finely shred the wild garlic/spinach (see Know-how).

Mix the cheeses in a large bowl with the eggs, breadcrumbs, olive oil, spring onions, salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Brush a 28cm x 6cm deep springform tin with some melted butter. Unroll the filo pastry and set aside 2 sheets. Cover with a damp tea towel to stop them drying out. Brush the remaining sheets of pastry, one at a time, with more butter, then use to line the tin, laying 2 sheets first one way and then the other, overlapping them and leaving the edges overhanging, continuing until you’ve used all but the 2 reserved sheets.

Add the dill, rocket and wild garlic (or spinach and chopped garlic cloves) to the cheesy mixture. Mix well with your hands, then pile into the pastry-lined tin and fold the overhanging pastry loosely over the top. Uncover, butter and loosely ruffle the remaining 2 sheets of pastry over the top, then brush with more melted butter. Put in the oven with an empty roasting beneath to catch any dripping butter. Bake for 1 hour or until the filling has set and the pastry is richly golden. Cover loosely with foil towards the end of cooking if it starts to get too brown. To test for readiness, push a skewer into the centre, then gently press the top. No liquid should appear, but if it does, cook for a little longer.

Remove the pie from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Serve cut into wedges, with some garlicky yogurt if you wish.