Spring has sprung, the clocks have leapt forward, daffodils are in abundance and Easter is here. Time for an excuse to cook up a seasonal feast of monumental proportions. Lambs frolicking in the fields mean they are at their tastiest at this time of year (sorry vegetarians) and I always associate Easter dinners with lamb. Last Sunday saw me test drive a new recipe incorporating some exotic Moroccan flavours into the meat and it proved very popular. My mother in law (who ordinarily shuns lamb) couldn’t stop eating it so that’s endorsement enough for me! I used a lamb leg fillet, which happily fed 4 adults and 2 small boys but you could double the marinade quantities if you’re cooking a full lamb leg for a larger audience.
lamb leg fillet (approx 1.2 kilos)
2 cloves garlic
3 heaped teaspoons of Ras Al Hanout spice blend (I got mine in an ethnic food shop but in the absence of this just use 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and cinnamon).
1 teaspoon honey
juice of half a lemon
half teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
For the dressing combine the following and season with salt and black pepper:
200g natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon mint sauce (from a jar is fine)
1. To make the marinade, finely chop the garlic and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Rub all over the meat a few hours before cooking if possible.
2. To cook the meat, place in a preheated oven (200 degrees) uncovered for the first 20 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to.180 degrees and cover with tin foil for the remaining cooking time. Allow 45 minutes per kilo plus an additional 20 minutes. This will give you slighty pink meat. Add another 15-20 minutes if you want brown meat!
3. While the meat is cooking, prepare whatever accompanying vegetables and some roast potatoes. I went with some steamed green beans, creamed carrot and parsnip, boiled baby potatoes and roast potatoes (which I like to do in beef dripping).
4. Once your meat is cooked, allow it to stand for at least half an hour before serving with your dressing and sides of choice.