The perfect Easter roast – how to cook lamb, crispy roast potatoes and homemade mint sauce

Easter isn’t all about the sweet treats. While munching on chocolate eggs and hot cross buns is all part of the fun, the main event has to be the Sunday roast.

Sitting down to eat with family and friends is a tradition for many households over the long Bank Holiday weekend – and roast lamb served with mint sauce or a red wine gravy, some crispy roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables is the perfect Easter feast.

Whether you’re having a small celebration at home with your family or inviting the whole neighborhood over for a slap-up meal, it’s important to get the basics right. Timings, temperatures and, of course, those all-important ingredients are key to getting your guests’ taste buds tingling.

READMORE: The delicious Easter treats to get your hands on in Manchester this weekend

So we’ve found the best tips to help you cook the perfect Easter dinner.

The lamb

Award-winning butcher Jerry O’Leary, from Cork in Ireland, revealed to RSVP Live that there are two common mistakes people make when cooking lamb. Firstly, you should never put lamb from the fridge straight into the oven as it won’t cook evenly. Make sure you’re meat has been out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Secondly, you should opt for a bone-in joint rather than a boneless one. “Don’t imagine the boneless roasts are better because they’re easier to cut,” he said. “Don’t miss out on the flavor from the bone and let’s be honest they look more impressive too.”

When it comes to cooking time, he suggests 25 minutes per pound of meat at 180C. Once cooked, you can then transfer the joint into a serving dish, cover it in foil and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving it up.

If you’ve got the time, Gareth Crosby, head chef at Shutters restaurant in Canary Wharf, suggests a longer cooking time for the ultimate slow-roasted Easter lamb. He believes a whole lamb shoulder is best and it needs to be in the oven for more than a few hours, MyLondon reports.

“The best seasoning is crushed garlic rubbed all over, then drizzled with lemon juice,” he said. “The lemon really helps cut through the fattiness of the lamb.”

He also suggests placing peeled onions cut in half and whole carrots underneath the lamb to catch all the juices during cooking. “Cook it slow and low about 140 or 150 degrees and it will stay in there a good four or five hours,” he said. “The meat will fall off the bone.”

roast potatoes

A roast dinner just isn’t complete without a large dish of perfectly roasted potatoes – crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy in the middle. Chef Darina Allen has shared her top tips on how to make the perfect roasties, as well as the mistakes you need to avoid, reports RSPV Live.

First up, never use new potatoes. Good-quality dry, floury potatoes such as Golden Wonders or Kerr’s Pinks are your best bet, according to Darina.

For best results, peel the potatoes just before roasting, but resist the temptation to soak them in water as they should be dry before cooking for the best results. If you don’t dry your potatoes off, even when tossed in fat or oil, they will stick to the roasting tin.

Quick Meals – Roast-potatoes.jpg – FREE TO USE HANDOUT PICTURE

You’ll need to use a good oil or fat to cook them in. Darina says roast potatoes can be cooked in extra virgin olive oil, top-quality sunflower oil, duck fat, goose fat, pork fat (lard) or beef dripping. Each gives a delicious but different flavour.

Once you’ve tossed the potatoes in your chosen fat, you’re ready to roast. Cook them in a hot oven (200°C/400°F/gas mark 6) for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on their size.

For people who like a crunchier crust, you can par-boil your peeled potatoes before roasting. To create an even crunchier crust, some cooks like to toss the potatoes in a little flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper and maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika.

mint willow

Mint sauce doesn’t have to come from a jar, it’s easy to make your own and it’s sure to impress your guests. Adam Byatt, owner of Trinity, Clapham’s only Michelin-star restaurant, shared his recipe for the “best mint sauce.”

He said: “100ml white wine vinegar in a pan with 100g sugar and 100ml water, boil and reduce this by half. Allow to cool. Chop a whole bunch of mint, not too fine. Chop half a bunch of lovage and a shallot nice and fine, now combine all of this with the liquid and add a few capers. Perfect with roast lamb.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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