How To Make The Perfect Easter Roast

By Ellie Smith

5 months ago

A chef's tips on mastering the lamb roast this year


Hosting the family for Easter and looking for some recipe inspiration? Here are some Easter dinner ideas from David Lagonell, Chef Director at temper, the London restaurant famed for its roasts. With outposts in Soho, Shoreditch and Paddington, the eatery specialises in whole beast butchery, with an open kitchen and meat cooked over fire. David gives us some top tips for cooking the perfect Easter roast, which features the traditional lamb alongside some tasty trimmings.

Easter Dinner Ideas

The Perfect Lamb Roast

Roast lamb shoulder

Ingredients:

  • 1 lamb shoulder* 
  • BBQ rub 
  • 150g caster sugar 
  • 150g brown sugar 
  • 150g Maldon salt 
  • 10g caraway seeds 
  • 10g fennel seeds 
  • 10g coriander seeds 
  • 20g garlic powder
  • 10g sweet paprika 
  • 50g black pepper

*1 lamb shoulder weighs approx 4kg when raw, it loses 50 percent of its weight during the cooking and pulling process, which means you are left with 2kg of meat you can enjoy. An average portion of pulled lamb is around 200g, which means you can get a few good portions out of a 4kg joint.

Method:

  1. Toast all the spices and finely grind using a pestle and mortar. Combine all the ingredients and set aside.
  2. Rub and press the spice mix onto the meat, ensuring it coats the whole shoulder.
  3. Smoke the meat between 125oC to 150oC till it reaches 93oC, which roughly takes around six hours depending on the size of the joint.
  4. During the latter stages of the cooking process apply what is known in the circle as the Texas crutch, which means we wrap the shoulder in parchment paper and foil. This helps to concentrate the maximum amount of residual heat whilst avoiding evaporation and the meat getting dry. 
  5. Keep it wrapped until ready to serve, it should be succulent, steaming hot and juicy!

Presentation:

The lamb shoulder should take centre stage, however, the trimmings are nothing short of delicious and should be on display too! Chimichurri is our answer to the traditional mint sauce, its herby and sharp nature cuts through the richness of the lamb and serves as a contrast to the sweet purée and honey-roasted carrots as detailed below. 

Honey roasted carrots

Unsplash

Honey Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 1kg carrots 

For the honey water

  • 400ml water 
  • 100g honey 
  • Salt to taste 

Method:

  1. Combine the honey and water together to make the ‘honey water’ and set aside
  2. Split the carrots lengthwise and cook them in boiling salted water until al dente. 
  3. Heat a heavy base frying pan with some vegetable oil in it. Carefully place the carrots flat and face down and colour really well. 
  4. Add a knob or two of butter, baste the carrots and add a little Maldon salt for flavour.
  5. Drain the fat and add a splash of ‘honey water’.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the carrots, reducing to a thick syrup. Once reduced, they are ready to be served. 

Smoked Parsnip Puree

Ingredients:

  • 400g parsnips, peeled and chopped 
  • 200g shallots, peeled and chopped 
  • 200ml double cream 
  • 200ml full-fat milk 
  • 100g unsalted butter 
  • Salt to taste 

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until the parsnips are soft.
  2. Drain the liquid and transfer the shallots and parsnips into a blender. Add a ladle of milk & cream mixture and blend to a very fine puree. You can always add more liquid if necessary until you get the consistency and taste you desire. 
  3. At this point here in the restaurant we would pour the puree onto a flat tray and smoke it for 30 minutes using white oak from Harlow. However, it can always be made without the smoking stage and remains delicious.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

The Not So Traditional Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 100g finely chopped parsley 
  • 100g finely chopped oregano 
  • 50g finely chopped garlic cloves 
  • 200ml red wine vinegar 
  • 50g caster sugar 
  • 50g finely chopped shallots 
  • 100g finely chopped mint 
  • 20g Maldon salt 
  • *100ml Pomace olive oil 
  • **150g Guindilla chilli, thinly sliced and kept in its pickling liquid 

* Pomace oil is a mild blend of olive oils that is used in recipes that don’t require the acidity levels that you often find in the extra virgin varieties. 

** The use of guindillas brings very distinctive flavour notes of sour and spice which I personally love. 

Method:

Combine all the ingredients and set aside. If stuck for time this can be made a day before Easter Sunday.

Sides that can’t go amiss:

Spiced red cabbage, roast potatoes, gravy… I’m leaving these to your preference as everyone has a particular way of preparing those roast dinner staples!

Recipes by David Lagonell, Chef Director at temper.