Roast lamb is great for when you’re entertaining as it is very forgiving especially when you slow cook it. Here pretty much everything is done in advance meaning that much of the stress of having people over is removed leaving you more time to tidy up, put your make-up on or just get stuck into the red wine. This is served with redcurrant sauce to avoid the soul-curdling stress of making gravy whilst people watch and petit pois a la francais – which again can be cooked in advance. I suggest serving it with jacket potatoes here for ease – but pommes dauphinoise or roast potatoes would be a little bit more fancy.
½ leg of lamb (around 1kg)
2 large onions – halved
sprig of rosemary
20ml red wine
Season the meat. In a roasting dish on the hob sear the meat on all sides. Don’t worry this is as fiddly as the recipe gets. Then take the meat out and put the onions, carrots and rosemary on the bottom of the pan before putting the meat on top. Season again. Tent the roasting tin with some tin foil and pop in the oven at 160c. Then you can forget about it for a bit and get on with everything else.
The peas are called petit pois a la francais but are basically stewed peas – much tastier than they sound.
knob of butter
1 heaped teaspoon flour
300 ml chicken stock
6 spring onions – finely sliced
400 g frozen peas
freshly ground black pepper
Slowly heat the butter and a good glug of olive oil in a large-ish pan. Add the flour and stir around, then slowly pour in the stock. Turn up the heat and add the spring onions and peas with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.
Jar redcurrant jelly – from most supermarkets
3 tbs red wine vinegar
handful fresh mint
Tip the redcurrant jelly in a jar. Heat until bubbling. Add the vinegar. Cook for about 5 m. Add chopped mint to serve.
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