Classic Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

The best roast spud are crisp and crunchy on the outside while being soft and fluffy on the inside. They are the classic side to any roasted meat. Adding semolina just before roasting adds extra crispiness to the spud too!

My favourite variety of potato to use is Desirée, but Romano and King Edward are also good for roasting

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg Potatoes
  • 100g fat or any oil with a high smoke point. Goose or duck fat is perfect as it has a high smoking point (reserved from the Two Fat Ladies Roasted Goose recipe is best)
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Semolina (optional)

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°. Put the fat or oil into a heavy based roasting tin, and pop into the oven to melt and heat.
  2. Thinly peel the potatoes using a potato peeler and cut in fairly even sized pieces , lengthways is best as it give you more edges to crisp up.
  3. Pop them into a pan, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for around 10 mins until they fare starting to go fluffy. To test this lift one of the potatoes, and scrape the edge with a fork, if it’s still smooth then cook for a minute or tw longer.
  4. Drain the potatoes using a colander, and put back into the hot pan, placing it back on the heat for a moment to dry the potatoes off.
  5. Put the semolina on top of the potatoes and pop a lid onto the pan and give them a quick shake, this will distribute the semolina and rough up the edges of the potatoes too.
  6. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and place on the hob on a high heat, 
  7. Put the potatoes into the pan a few at a time and using a spoon baste them with the hot fat\oil (this seals them and stops them from being greasy). Be careful not to burn yourself with the sizzling fat.
  8. Put the tray back into the top of the oven for 40 to 50 mins, until they are  golden brown.

Serve with your favourite roast meat, like my classic Roast Leg of Spring Lamb or “Two Fat Ladies” Roasted Goose

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic

Roast Leg of Lamb
Roast Leg of Lamb

Easter is approaching and one of my favourite meals for Easter Sunday is a nice roasted leg of Spring Lamb, studded with Garlic and Rosemary.

Serves 6-8 Gluten Free*

Ingredients

  • 1 leg of lamb, weighing about 1.8 kg (4 lb)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways into about 24 slivers
  • 2 large stems fresh rosemary, cut into about 24 small sprigs
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC /gas mark 5/375ºF.
  2. Begin by making about 24 small, deep cuts in the skin of the lamb using a small, sharp knife. 
  3. Then push a sliver of garlic, followed by a small sprig of rosemary, into each cut.
  4. Season the meat generously with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
  5. Next, cut the onion in half and place it in the bottom of the roasting tin, then place the lamb in the tin sitting on top of the onion halves. 
  6. Cover the tin loosely with foil, then cook in the oven on a high shelf for 1½ hours. 
  7. After this, remove the foil and let it continue to roast for another 30 minutes. 
  8. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover loosely with foil again and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.

Carve and serve with some crunchy roasted potatoes, roasted beetroot, steamed spring greens and a gravy made from the meat juices.

Follow this link to see a short video guide on craving a Roast Leg Of Lamb

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently.

Easter Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake
Simnel Cake
Image: bbc.co.uk/food

Simnel cake is a light fruit cake which is covered in Marzipan and toasted. It’s normally eaten on the middle Sunday of lent and it’s been around since the Middle Ages. More recently it was traditionally given by Victorian servant girls to their mothers when they returned home on Mothering Sunday.

Normally eleven, or more occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, as the balls are supposedly meant to represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas or Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas.

Serves: 11

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 225g sultanas
  • 100g currants
  • 50g chopped candied peel
  • 2 lemons, grated zest only
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice

For the filling and topping

  • 500g marzipan
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed

Method

Preheat the oven to 150C/280F/Gas 2.
Grease and line a 20cm/ 8in cake tin with baking parchment.

  1. Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain well then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper.
  2. Place the cherries in a bowl with the butter, sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, sultanas, currants, candied peel, lemon zest and mixed spice and beat well until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin.
  4. Take one-third of the marzipan and roll it out to a circle the size of the tin and then place on top of the cake mixture. 
  5. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top and level the surface.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 2½ hours, or until well risen, evenly brown and firm to the touch. Covering with aluminium foil after one hour if the top is browning too quickly. 
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off the lining parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  8. When the cake is cool, brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam and roll out half the remaining marzipan to fit the top. Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges to decorate. 
  9. Mark a criss-cross pattern on the marzipan with a sharp knife. 
  10. Form the remaining marzipan into 11 (or 12) balls.
  11. Brush the marzipan with beaten egg and arrange the marzipan balls around the edge of the cake. 
  12. Brush the tops of the balls with beaten egg and then carefully place the cake under a preheated hot grill for a few moments to lightly toast.

Decorate further with candied fruit and flowers is you wish, slice and serve.

 

 

Prosciutto wrapped Chicken

Prosciutto wrapped Chicken
Prosciutto wrapped Chicken

This is a family favourite, even the kids like it (well they do today, I can’t guarantee what tomorrow will bring though). It’s a quick and easy recipe that’s healthy and tasty too.

The chicken breasts can be prepared in advance and popped in the fridge until you need them. To make it even easier use a cream cheese with garlic and herbs already added

Serves 2 – Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 heaped tsp Cream Cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 4 slices Prosciutto (or any other thinly sliced air dried ham)
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt (herb flavoured if you have any) for seasoning

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C\190C Fan.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, herbs and garlic and util the cheese is smooth and the herbs and garlic are fully distributed.
  3. Make a pocket in each chicken breast by inserting a sharp knife into the think end of the beast, being careful not to break the surface or base.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of the cheese mix into the pocket.
  5. Wrap the breast in 2 slices of prosciutto, ensuring that the opening to the pocket is covered.
  6. Season with a little salt (sparingly as the Prosciutto can be salty) and freshly ground pepper
  7. Cook in the oven for 20 -25 mins or until the chicken is fully cooked and the prosciutto is crispy and golden.

Serve with Lyonnaise Potatoes and some steamed fine beans.

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients listed are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently