This is the time of year when the home cook can really shine, preparing delicious meals for family and friends. As we approach the holidays and the New Year, choosing recipes can be overwhelming. Don’t be discouraged by the many options, just make sure you don’t try anything too complicated with too little time, especially if it is your first time hosting. We suggest these easy recipes; you’ll be able to prepare a gorgeous meal for everyone to enjoy without struggling in the kitchen. If you haven’t yet, you can prepare our juicy turkey, here. Or try out this leg of lamb recipe below for a perfect roast. Don’t forget your side dishes.
4.5lb / 2kg leg of lamb with the bone left in
3 large garlic cloves
45 g / 1.5 oz butter
4–5 stalks fresh rosemary
4fl oz / 125 ml red wine
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt and black pepper
To allow the lamb leg to cook evenly in the oven later, take the lamb out of the fridge and let it get to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 390°F / 200 °C.
Make garlic butter: Make sure the butter isn’t hard. Let it soften before you use it. Clean and grate the clove of garlic. Place ¾ of the butter (approx 1 oz /30 g) in a bowl with the garlic. Strip the rosemary leaves and chop them. Add them to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and mash the mixture to a paste. You can simply use a fork for this.
Using a sharp thin knife, make approx. 40 small incisions into the meat of the lamb. They should be large enough for you to stick just your fingertip into. Massage the butter mixture into the lamb by rubbing it into the meat. Try to work it into these holes that you’ve cut.
Put the lamb in a roasting dish, and cover it loosely with tinfoil. Place the dish in the preheated oven. As the meat heats up, the butter will melt and the rosemary and garlic flavours will penetrate the lamb.After about 30 minutes, remove the foil and return the lamb to the oven. Leave to roast for another hour for medium. Or you can check on the meat regularly until it is cooked until cooked to your liking.After removing the lamb from the oven leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Cover it with some tinfoil in order to keep it warm.
Now let’s make the gravy: Heat a frying pan on the stove. When it is hot enough, carefully pour the juices from the roasting dish into the pan. Add the wine and reduce the sauce by turning down the heat. Mix the remaining butter and 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of the mixture to the pan first, and whisk. Add more as you need until your sauce has the desired consistency.
To serve, slice the lamb. Pour the gravy over. You can garnish it with rosemary.
Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours
Here are some simple yet delicious side dishes you can serve with this main course.
1 large onion
Half a cup of plain flour
Vegetable oil (Sunflower or olive oil)
8 large carrots
Salt and pepper
Chop up the onion and fry it lightly in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Peel the carrots and slice them lengthways. Roll these strips in flour and fry them with the onion until the flour is browned.
To a small teacup of hot water, add a tablespoon of the juices from the roasting dish. Alternatively you can dissolve a teaspoonful of meat or vegetable extract. Add it to the carrots with salt and pepper (The carrots should just be covered and not swim in the liquid). Stir to mix. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts
25 oz / 750 g Brussels sprouts
15 oz / 425 g Chestnuts
1 tbsp sugar
The day before cooking your Brussels sprouts, wash them to remove any dirt. Dry them, and then place in your freezer overnight. In the morning, remove the sprouts from the freezer and let them defrost. This procedure allows the sweetness of the Brussels sprouts to really unfold and gives them a tender texture.
Cut off the tough stem end of each Brussels sprout. Remove any yellow or damaged leaves on the outside.
TIP: Do not cut crosses in the bases as this is likely to make your vegetables go soggy.
Prepare the chestnuts: Cut a slit in the flat side of each nut. Put them in an oven-safe dish and with enough water to cover the bottom. Bake for about 10 minutes at about 425 °F / 220 °C. A hot
oven is very important to be able to separate the chestnut from the woody skin.Take off the shells while hot.
TIP: If the inside skin doesn’t come off too, place the shelled nuts in a pan of cold water and boil for a few minutes to loosen it. Then, put the chestnuts in just enough slightly salted water to cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes. At the same time, boil your Brussels sprouts until tender for about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the water to enhance the sprouts’ sweetness.
After cooking the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts separately mix them together and serve.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
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