Author Archives for Cindy Duffield

Orange Drizzle Cake

 

I heard on the Chris Evans’ radio 2 breakfast show on Tuesday that Great British Bake Off winner 2015, the lovely Nadiya Hussain, had been appointed to create a birthday cake for our wonderful 90-year- old Queen and that she’d decided to make an orange drizzle cake. Well, we all know that hers will be a thing of wonder but I thought that in my own small way, I would celebrate the day with a more basic version of the same. Using my Mary Berry lemon drizzle cake recipe as a basis, I simply swapped out the fresh lemon bits for orange – couldn’t be simpler! Whilst the lemon version is really zesty, zingy and fresh, the orange alternative is mellower and more subtle with a nod towards summer. They’re both lovely, dead easy, take no time and both very moreish. Happy Birthday ma’am!!!!

Serves 8

What you need…

for the cake

900g loaf tin, greased and parchment paper-lined

3 large eggs

175g self-raising flour

175g caster sugar

175g butter, softened

1½ teaspoons baking powder

Zest of 1 large orange, finely grated

for crunchy orange icing

100g granulated sugar

Juice of 1 large orange

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180c / 350 F / gas 4.

Chuck all the cake ingredients into a food processor and whizz until thoroughly mixed.

Tip into the loaf tin and bake in oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown and shrinking away from the sides of the tin slightly.

Pop tin on a cooling rack and leave from 10/15 minutes until the cake is warm rather than hot.

Prick over the top of the cake with a skewer.

Mix together the sugar and orange juice and pour over the top of the cake whilst it is still in its tin. It will look like there’s loads too much topping – keep the faith and pour the lot in. Walk away.

Come back 10/15 minutes later and the orange drizzle topping will have largely disappeared – it’s gone into the cake (with the help of your skewering) to ensure that it is wonderfully moist.

When it’s cool rather than cold, loosen the sides away from the tin and lift out, using the paper. Dispense with the parchment paper and serve your delicious orange drizzle cake – as you taste it, I swear the gentle warmth of an early summer sun seeps into your bones – it is truly delightful…and for next to no effort.

Inspired by…

Nadiya Hussain for bringing the idea to my attention and Mary Berry for providing me with the original recipe used.

How easy…

Spectacularly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Fillet with a Fricassee of Mushrooms and Asparagus Purée

A rather lovely treat. In the name of this blog, I had to insist that we tried this recipe, mainly because the mushrooms sounded interesting! So, we got to have beef fillet – yipppeee! The fillet came from a great butcher and I did very little to it other than emphasise its natural flavour with seasoning. The mushrooms were quite a revelation – I’ve never even thought to do them like this before but they were absolutely lovely – we’ll be having them again. And then there’s the asparagus…it’s in season so we’ve been having lots of it so I wanted to do something different – hence the green blobs! Despite being potentially pretentious (if they’d been a bit tidier) the process really intensified the flavour and I would definitely give this ago again and not just with asparagus! If you fancy treating yourself to a nice bit of fillet, then I would wholeheartedly recommend this recipe.

Serves 4

What you need…

4 gorgeous beef fillets, about 3cm thick

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

for the mushrooms

100ml boiling water from the kettle

½ beef stockpot (I use Knorr)

100g unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

200g assorted mushrooms

2 tablespoons Madeira

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tomato, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

for the asparagus

250g asparagus, trimmed

Knob butter

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons double cream

What to do…

A couple of hours before you want to eat, prepare the beef. Fillet doesn’t need tenderising. Instead, put a teaspoon of olive oil onto one side of each steak, spreading it evening over and then, using the heel of your hand, massage the steak – it needs no more than this. Season with salt and pepper, flip and repeat on the other side. Cover your steaks with cling film and set aside until you’re ready to cook them.

Next, the asparagus purée! In a medium-sized deep frying pan, cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain (retaining a little of the water). Return the asparagus to the dry pan, add the butter, Dijon and seasoning stirring together until the butter is melted and the other ingredients evenly incorporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Tip the whole lot into your blender with a tablespoon of the retained cooking water. Whizz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick for your liking. Pop the asparagus purée into a plastic bottle (to create the blobs) and keep warm until serving.

To the mushrooms! Use a balloon whisk to mix together the boiling water and beef stockpot to create 100ml beef stock. Set aside.

Melt 20g of the butter in a pan, add the garlic and shallot and cook until transparent. Add the mushrooms and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add the Madeira to the pan, turn up the heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the mustard and then the rest of the butter. Season and then tip in the tomato and tarragon.

Meanwhile, cook your fillets. Place your lovely fillets into a dry frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook for a few minutes on each side until they are cooked to your liking. Allow them to rest a little before serving.

Serve your beef fillet with a goodly portion of the wonderful fricassee of mushrooms and either a few blobs, a smear or dollop of the beautifully intensely flavoured asparagus purée together with a wonderful glass or two of a great red wine (a good claret perhaps?) Just yummy!

Tip…

I use Cooks’ Ingredients frozen chopped garlic and frozen, chopped shallots from Waitrose, preferring a quick shake of the packet rather than all the peeling and chopping.

Inspired by…

Michael Caines on Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Very easy – I knocked this up in just a few minutes having all afternoon in the kitchen creating the wonderful but time-intense Chocolate, Orange and Cardamom Diva cake, so I was knackered when I started – this was an absolute sinch and the perfect end to the day.

Chocolate, Orange and Cardamom Diva Cake

 

I have been wanting to make this cake for a while but I knew that I would involve committing several hours to the cause. Music on, all equipment assembled and at the ready: I set to. It is an absolute stunner – definitely an OMG wonder of a celebratory cake! A sheer pleasure of many layers, your tastebuds are delighted first by rich chocolate, then by the light, zesty orange butter cream, then by the gentle warmth of cardamom and the intense, distinctive taste of pistachios, returning finally to the rich chocolate. John Whaite may call it ‘Opera Cake’, but to me it’s a glorious diva – requiring a huge amount of attention but worthy of it given the integral gift of enjoyment it exudes! If you have the time and want a real show-stopper of a cake, this is it! Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients or instructions: it’s just like having five mini recipes for one ultimate creation – worth every second!

Makes 18 good-sized slices

What you need…

2 x 20 x 30cm Swiss roll tins, buttered and lined with parchment paper

5 egg whites

25g sugar

4 eggs

100g pistachios, ground (in your food processor)

50g ground almonds

150g icing sugar

45g flour

40g unsalted butter, melted

for the ganache

100ml milk

8 cardamom pods, bruised

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

20g unsalted butter, room temperature

for the syrup

60g caster sugar

60ml water

4 cardamom pods, bruised

Juice from 1 large orange

for the orange buttercream

75ml unsalted butter, room temperature

Zest from 1 large orange

150g icing sugar

1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

to decorate with chocolate mirror glaze

1 gelatine leaf

120g golden caster sugar

60ml water

1 tablespoon golden syrup

75g cocoa powder, sifted

60ml double cream

Gold leaf (optional but opulent!)

What to do…

Sponges

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Into your processor tip in the eggs, pistachios, almonds, icing sugar and flour. Whizz until well combined.

Using a handheld electric whisk, beat together the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks are formed. Tip in one third of the sugar and whisk in thoroughly before repeating with a second third and then the remaining sugar.

Onto the egg whites, gently pour the pistachio mixture and the melted butter. Using a balloon whisk, gently fold together so that all three elements are evenly incorporated.

Pour into your two Swiss roll tins, smooth surfaces and pop in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until light golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool completely in their tins whilst you make the ganache, butter cream, syrup and glaze.

Ganache

For the indulgent ganache, pour the milk into a saucepan with the 8 cardamom pods, set over a high heat until the milk begins to steam and then remove from the heat, allowing the cardamoms to infuse for 10 minutes.

Pop your chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

Remove the cardamom pods and then heat the milk until bubbles start to form around the sides. Pour the milk over the chocolate and after 30 seconds, use your balloon whisk to beat like crazy until the chocolate is melted. Add in the butter and whisk until all is incorporated and is lovely and glossy. Set aside.

Syrup

Place the sugar, water and 4 cardamom pods into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Boil for 3 minutes. Allow to cool a little. Add the orange juice and set aside.

Buttercream

In your food processor, tip in the butter and orange zest. Whizz until evenly mixed. Add the icing sugar and orange juice. Whizz until pale and light. Set aside.

Glaze

Soak the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the sugar, water and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer vigorously for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a balloon whisk, beat in first the cocoa powder and then the cream. Return to a moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the chocolate mixture. Stir until dissolved. Sieve into a jug and set aside.

Assembly Job

Here we go – time to assemble – this bit is really relaxing and I loved seeing it all coming together.

Carefully remove your sponges from the parchment paper and from each one, cut a 20cm square, also giving you a 20cm x 10cm rectangle.

Take a 20 x 20cm sponge and put it on the board or plate that you intend to serve this glorious diva of a cake on. Using a pastry brush, apply the syrup to the sponge, using about one third. Then, spread two-thirds of the ganache evenly over the top. Pop the sponge in the freezer for 5 minutes. Clear up a bit.

Place the two rectangular sponges on the ganache to create the second 20 x 20cm square sponge layer. Apply half the remaining syrup all over the top and then spread over all of the buttercream. Pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Clear up a bit more.

Take the remaining square sponge and evenly apply the remaining syrup all over. Flip it (so that the syrup is on the underside) and gently place it on top of the buttercream. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and then pop the cake back into the freezer for 20 minutes. Clear up a lot!

The glaze needs to be runny so pop it in the microwave for 30-second bursts until it is glossy and runny again. Enjoy gently pouring it evenly over the chilled cake, making sure the whole surface is covered. Put back in the freezer for 30 minutes until set.

To serve, first a little tidy up of the diva, so it looks its absolute best! Fill a tall jug with boiling water from the kettle and arm yourself with your sharpest knife. Dip the knife in the water, dry and then trim one side of the cake by just 5mm to create a sharp edge with beautifully defined layers. Repeat the dip, dry and trim process for the remaining three sides and then again to divide the cake up into either smaller cakes (I made 3 smaller rectangular cakes, each serving 6 slices) or slice up the whole lot. Decorate with gold leaf if you’re feeling opulent or simply indulge in the loveliness that is this fabulous cake!

It absolutely WAS worth the effort! Enjoy!!!!

Tips…

Freeze the left over egg yolks from the biscuit sponge – you only need one more to make a fabulous and large Tiramisu (recipe to follow).

Rinse and dry food processor bowl, balloon whisks and saucepans as you complete the first stages to reduce the final washing up pile!

Inspired by…

2012 Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite

How easy…

It’s not a difficult recipe but it does take hours and my kitchen looked like a bombsite during the process. Called into play were the food processor, mini chopper, electric hand whisk, juicer and mixing bowls as well as three balloon whisks, jugs and countless spatulas, knives and spoons. I am a messy cook anyway but wow! this was a whole new level of kitchen mayhem, even for me. Saying that, during the cake assembly, when it is popped into the freezer for a few sessions, the dishes, surfaces and equipment gradually got washed, wiped down and returned to normal so when this glorious cake was finished, it was centre stage in a spotless kitchen with only the whirring of the dishwasher as a gentle reminder of the havoc that had reigned!

Pistachio, Orange and Rosemary Biscotti

I was introduced to these gorgeous biscotti last September at a Macmillan coffee morning hosted by my lovely friend, Sue. Lots of scrumptious homemade cakes graced her table but it was the biscotti that I enjoyed the most. That very afternoon, I was on the email to request the recipe. It turns out that Sue’s son, Josh, had made the biscotti and on contacting him, I discovered that the recipe originated from 2012 Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite. A perfect accompaniment to a good, strong cup of coffee, the combination of pistachio, orange and rosemary is simply exquisite and the recipe is so very, very easy. So, ‘thank you’ to Sue and Josh for the recipe and for prompting me to buy the John Whaite Bakes cookery book. Try these biscotti – best shared with friends.

Makes 20ish

What you need…

125g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

75g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Zest of 1 large orange

50g dried apricots, roughly chopped

80g pistachios, roughly chopped

1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Into your food processor tip the flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, apricots, pistachios and rosemary. Whizz until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Beat the egg and milk together and then add to the other ingredients. Whizz again until a dough is formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and give the dough a quick knead to bring it all together and roll it out to form a long, fat sausage, maybe 23cms in length.

Place on a baking sheet lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper and then pop in the oven to bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and, using a really sharp serrated knife, cut into 1cm-thick slices. Pop back in the oven and reduce the temperature to 130°c / 250°f / gas ½ and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Then make yourself a lovely strong coffee and sit back and enjoy these delicious, crunchy biscotti – just yummy and very moreish!

Biscotti close up w

Inspired by…

Josh initially and then John Whaite

How easy…

Dead easy. Got up, showered. Made biscotti. Had coffee. Lovely morning!

 

 

Baked Lemon Pudding

Returning from the gorgeous Amalfi Coast where lemon trees seemed to adorn every hillside, heavily laden with ripened fruit, I was inspired to do something with lemons. It is however, not yet warm enough to do a lemon sorbet or something naughty with the mildly addictive and delicious Italian lemon liqueur, Limoncello (both of these things are coming though, I promise) but I happened on this pudding recipe which manages to combine being oh so very, very light, fluffy and zesty with being gently comforting. Delving my spoon into the ‘still warm from the oven’ loveliness that is baked lemon pudding, the grey English skies didn’t seem so dreary after all. It’s also beyond easy and took next to no effort – perfect for the first day blogging after a week’s pampering. Give it a go!

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

1 x 1 litre ovenproof dish, lightly buttered

1 x deep roasting tin

Kettle of boiling water

90g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

130g caster sugar

3 large eggs, separated

Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons

30g plain flour

200ml milk

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 190° c / 375°f / gas 5.

Using an electric hand held whisk, beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff and glossy. Set aside.

Chuck into your food processor the butter and sugar and whizz until softened and pale in colour. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Keep whizzing and add the lemon zest and then the flour. Still whizzing, slowly tip in the lemon juice and then the milk – it will be a really sloshy mixture – don’t worry.

Tip the sloshy mixture into the egg whites and, using a balloon whisk, very gently fold the two together.

Carefully pour the mixture into your ovenproof dish and put the dish in the roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until it’s about 2cm deep. Pop the whole lot into the oven and bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until it’s golden brown (I left mine in for 40 minutes so whilst the inside tasted sublime, the top was a bit too dark – ovens vary!)

Cool slightly before serving this deliciously easy, light and tangy lemon pud. Enjoy!

Inspired by…

delicious magazine

How easy…

Very, very easy and a complete joy!

Higgidy Party Pie

 

Stuffed with duck, pork, apricots and garden herbs, this is so much more than just a hot water-crust pork pie! Created for celebrations (the original recipe has three pies, stacked to create a wedding pie) this is so gorgeous, it’s worth having a party for in its own right! Luscious, unbelievably tasty on the inside with fabulous crisp pastry on the outside, this pie has totally converted a woman who simply didn’t eat pies, to one whose flicking through the Higgidy cookbook looking for the next one to do! It’s gorgeous; if you’re feeding a crowd, make this the centrepiece!

Serves 12 – 16

What you need…

1 x 20cm spring form cake tin, 10cm deep

300ml water

250g lard

1 teaspoon salt

750g plain flour, plus a little for dusting

1 egg, plus a further 1 for glazing

for the filling

500g pork shoulder, cut into 1cm cubes

400g sausage meat

150g streaky bacon rashers, cut into 5mm strips

1 small bunch thyme, leaves stripped

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly

1 egg, beaten

50g fresh breadcrumbs

2 duck breasts, skin removed and meat cut into 5mm strips

200g semi-dried apricots

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

To make the pastry, pour the water into a large saucepan, add the lard and salt and slowly bring to a gentle simmer over a moderate heat. Don’t allow it to boil.

Once the lard has melted, remove from the heat and tip in all the flour. Using an electric handheld whisk, beat the mixture to form a glossy paste. Add the egg and whisk until evenly incorporated. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth.

Cut away one third of the dough and lightly roll it into a circle, slightly larger than the cake tin – this will be your lid – cover with cling film and pop into the fridge whilst you do the rest of the pie.

Shape the remaining dough into a rough circle and place in the middle of your tin. Gently work it over the base and up the sides of the tin with your fingers until just peeping over the top. Pop it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 190˚c / 375˚f / gas 5.

Put the pork, sausage meat, bacon, thyme, nutmeg, redcurrant jelly, beaten egg and 1 teaspoon salt into a food processor and whizz until evenly combined.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the bottom of pastry case and then put half of the pork mixture on top. Next, add a layer of duck. Season and then add a layer of apricots. Finally, top with the remaining pork mixture.

Brush the top edges of the pie case with beaten egg and place the pastry lid on top. Crimp the edges to seal. Make a 1cm hole in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape and decorate your pie, if you fancy.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160˚c / 310°f/ gas 3 and bake for a further 1½ hours or until the pastry has turned a deep golden brown. Take the pie out and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the tin.

It’s so impressive to serve and that first slice draws ‘oooooohs and aaaaahs’ of delight. Then they taste it – yum!

Tip…

This fabulous celebration of a pie can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days so it can be made in advance of any entertaining.

Inspired by…

Camilla Stephens, Higgidy

How easy…

I was daunted when I first looked at recipe but in fact, this kind of pastry is really easy to make and the filling is just a case of a bit of prep and then assembly. And it’s soooooo worth it!!!!

 

 

 

Focaccia Sharing Bread with Rosemary

 

This lovely bread is an ideal accompaniment to garlicky starters like Gambas Pil Pil (already blogged), as part of an Italian-inspired antipasti lunch or simply to dip into olive oil with balsamic vinegar. However you choose to enjoy it, Focaccia is just lovely….and so simply to make, especially if you have a food processor or electric stand mixer.

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x shallow baking tray (26 x 36cms or larger) lightly oiled

500g strong white bread flour

7g fast action dried yeast

10g fine salt

325ml warm water

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for coating and then drizzling

A sprinkle of sea salt

2 – 3 rosemary sprigs, cut to create around 12 little sprigs!

What you do…

If you have a mixer, fit it with the dough hook and then tip into the bowl the flour, yeast, salt, water and the tablespoon of oil. Mix on a low speed for 10 minutes until smooth and silky. If you don’t have a mixer, it’s the same process but by hand – somewhat more tiring and intensive (you can’t just walk away leaving it to do its own thing!)

Shape the dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil. Pop into a clean bowl (I wash out the one I’ve just used to make the dough), cover with cling film and leave to rise to double its size (45-60 minutes depending on the warmth of the room).

Tip the dough out onto a work surface and press into a rough rectangle. Place on your baking tray and press the dough outwards with your fingers, right into the corners. Leave to rise again, loosely covered (with a plastic bag for instance) for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 250˚c / 480 ˚f / gas 10.

Using your fingertips to poke deep holes across the whole surface, almost to the bottom. Drizzle the tope generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Poke the rosemary sprigs into the holes and then pop into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 200˚c / 400˚f/ gas 6 for a further 10 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes whilst you enjoy the wonderful rosemary-infused aroma. Tear, share and enjoy…..simply yummy and nothing quite like it!

Inspired by…

River Cottage

How easy…

Very, very easy, especially if you have a mixer! Great to knock up to make a relaxed lunch or supper just a little more special.

 

 

 

Lovely Chicken and Prawn Laksa

 

This is a lovely spicy noodle-based soup….and some! Based on a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine, it’s rich without being heavy and just bursting with flavour and fragrance. Wonderfully spicy yet fresh, light but rich and substantial without being overfilling – perfect as a really tasty supper or lunch dish. Very yummy indeed – enjoy!

Serves 4

What you need…

for the paste

2 shallots, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 red chillies, deseeded

5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

3 teaspoons fresh coriander leaves and stalks

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 lemongrass stalk, outer layer removed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

for the laksa

Splash rapeseed oil

1 litre boiling water

2 chicken stockpots

3 chicken breasts

250g raw prawns

400ml coconut milk

200g beansprouts

300g ‘straight to wok’ medium noodles

2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

2 limes, cut into wedges

What to do…

Make your stock by dissolving the stockpots in a jug of the boiling water – a balloon whisk is perfect for this.

Tip all of your paste ingredients into a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth paste.

Splash your oil into a large frying pan and over a moderate heat, add the paste and cook for 5 minutes until you can see that the oil is separating slightly from the paste and is sizzling.

Pour in the stock and increase the heat until it starts simmering. Add the chicken and cook over a moderate heat for 15 minutes. Add the prawns and noodles and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add the beansprouts.

Remove the chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks and return to the frying pan. Add in the chilli, mint and coriander. Stir until everything is incorporated evenly.

Serve your lovely chicken and prawn laksa in bowls topped with the egg quarters and a wedge of lime on the side. Fragrant, flavoursome and fabulous! Enjoy!

Chicken & Prawn LAksa Close up w

Tip…

Rather than all that chopping and peeling, I use Cooks’ Ingredients’ frozen chopped shallots and garlic from Waitrose. A lot easier – chillies, ginger and coriander are also available in the range but I think the fresh variety really boost the flavours of the dish.

Inspired by…

MasterChef winner (2010) Dhruv Baker

How easy…

Really easy to cook: the only time involved is the preparation, but once that’s done, it takes just minutes.

Baked Lamb with Rosemary and a Little Aside of Redcurrant & Mint Sauce

What can I tell you? Succulent, full of flavour, just falls off the bone – a real treat – and not just for Easter either – this recipe will be revisited on several spring and early summer Sundays – it is delicious, very moreish and cooks itself, allowing you to do other things! The redcurrant and mint sauce is simply the best and emphasises the lovely flavour of the lamb perfectly. If you haven’t tried this Delia-inspired recipe, give it a go – it’s an absolute winner!

What you need…

1 x 1.8 – 2kg leg of lamb

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 3-4 sprigs

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon rock salt

Black pepper

for the sauce & the gravy

250ml jar redcurrant jelly

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Sea salt and black pepper

275 ml dry white wine

1 x lamb stock cube

A good shake of Bisto lamb gravy granules

Glug of milk/splash of double cream

What to do…

In a small food processor, whizz together the rosemary leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. (Use a pestle and mortar to crush and the salt and rosemary if you don’t have a small food processor).

Spread a large sheet of foil in a roasting tin and place the lamb on it. Stab the fleshy parts of the joint with a skewer. Spread the rosemary mixture all over the upper surface of the lamb and tuck in the sprigs of rosemary.

Bring the edges of the foil up over the lamb, make a pleat in the top and scrunch the ends. This foil parcel should be fairly loose to allow the air to circulate. Bake the lamb for two hours, then open out the foil, baste the joint well with the juices and return it to the oven for a further 30 minutes to brown. (This cooking time should produce the lamb very slightly pink: you can cook for less or more time according to how you like the joint served).

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining 3 tablespoons of the redcurrant jelly with the vinegar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Use a balloon whisk to help dissolve the jelly into the vinegar. Add the chopped mint and some seasoning and pour into a jug – the sauce doesn’t need to be served warm.

When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Discard the foil, spoon off the fat and make some gravy with the juices left in the tin: in a saucepan, combine the juices with the white wine and the remaining redcurrant jelly from the jar. When the gravy is hot, crumble in the lamb stock cube to intensify the flavour. To create a lovely consistency, add gravy granules until it looks how you would like it to. Taste. Add milk and/or cream to tone down any slightly acidic flavours and to ensure the gravy becomes rich and silky.

Serving suggestion…

Rosemary-roasted root vegetables, John’s Yorkshire Puddings (both previously blogged) work well with spring greens, peas or broccoli.

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Dead easy: baste it, pop it in the oven and it cooks itself!

 

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