If you love to cook but are daunted by hosting an Easter feast—or any Sunday roast—we’ve pulled together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to a show-stopping lunch, including recipes, a grocery list, and a three-day schedule courtesy of longtime friend and collaborator Fran Warde. Fran's recipes have been published in BBC Good Food, the Saturday Times and Waitrose Food Illustrated, and she co-authored both Ginger Pig cookbooks with Tim Wilson. We're big fans of her Kitchen Conversations show on Cookbook Kitchen, which is ideal for listening to as you cook these recipes.

'This is a family-pleasing meal,' says Fran, 'with tasty classics that deliver every time.' These recipes, linked below, are intended for a gathering of six; adjust proportions as needed. 

Menu

    Shopping List

    Meat & Dairy:
    • 2.25kg. leg of lamb; spring, winter, hogget or mutton
    • Butter
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Cheddar, Gruyère or Parmesan cheese
    • Crème fraîche, cream or ice cream
    Fruit And Veg:
    • 1.5kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper
    • 1 medium cauliflower
    • 1 Savoy cabbage
    • 6 Banana or Echalion shallots
    • 1 bulb of garlic
    • 2 bunches oregano
    • 3 ripe pears
    Larder:
    • Olive oil
    • Anchovy fillets
    • Vegetable stock
    • Red wine, for cooking
    • Red currant jelly
    • Sea salt
    • Black peppercorns
    • Goose fat, olive oil or sunflower oil
    • English mustard powder
    • Cayenne pepper
    Baking:
    • Plain flour
    • Icing sugar
    • Brown sugar
    • Self-raising flour
    • Ground almonds
    • Baking powder
    • Cocoa
    • Flaked almonds

    To shop carving tools, click here.

    Kitchen Tools

    • Scale
    • Mixing bowl
    • 24cm (9in) cake tin, pastry ring or flan tin
    • Baking sheet
    • Chopping board
    • Carving board
    • Chef’s knife
    • Carving set (optional but recommended) 
    • Small kitchen knife
    • Peeler
    • 2 large roasting pans; 1 for lamb, 1 for potatoes
    • 1 medium, deep roasting tin for cauliflower
    • Measuring jug
    • Medium to large saucepan, for potatoes
    • Medium saucepan with a lid, for savoy cabbage
    • Steamer insert or steamer basket
    • Small saucepan; for cheese sauce and red wine and currant sauce
    • Strainer

    Schedule

    Two days before:
    1. Compose a shopping list of what is needed grouped by different stores or supermarket areas
    2. Start your shopping at least 2 days in advance to begin food preparation the day before. Ask your butcher for the following ages, if possible:

      Spring Lamb: 4-9 months old (serve pink to medium)
      Winter Lamb: 0-11 months old (serve pink to medium)
      Hogget: 2-23 months old—darker in colour and needs a little longer cooking (most readily available)
      Mutton: at least 24 months old—needs longer cooking, has the richest flavour and is much darker in colour than lamb and hogget

    3. This is key to being calm and happy in your kitchen
    One day before (allow 2.5 hours):
    1. Make the pastry for the tart, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge. Weigh out the butter and sugar for filling, cover and set aside
    2. Prepare the leg of lamb by studding it with the garlic and anchovies. Mix the oregano and oil and massage into the meat. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge
    3. Peel the potatoes and place totally submerged in a large pot of water in a cool place. Cover with a lid
    4. Prepare the cauliflower cheese, apart from the final bake. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge
    5. Designate who is going to carve. Chat through the carving process, if that person is unsure
    6. Plan your table. Place settings, napkins, serving dishes, flowers and/or candles—leave no stone unturned!
    On the day (allow 3 hours):
    1. Heat the oven to 190°C / Fan 170°C / Gas 5 and remove tart pastry from fridge
    2. Butter pastry tin and make the Chocolate and Pear Tart
    3. Remove lamb and cauliflower cheese from the fridge to bring up to room temperature
    4. Lay the table; select all serving tools and vessels
    5. When the tart has finished baking, increase the oven temperature to 200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas 6
    6. Remove cling film from lamb and place in the roasting pan. Cut the shallots in half, scatter around the lamb. Place the lamb in the oven to cook as per recipe
    7. Start the potatoes
    8. Prepare the Savoy Cabbage and place in the steamer. Start cooking when potatoes are finished (step 16)
    9. Place the cauliflower cheese in the oven to finish
    10. When the lamb is done, remove from oven. Keep warm and leave to rest
    11. Make the red wine and currant sauce
    12. Warm plates and serving dishes
    13. Remove potatoes from the oven when done; finish recipe
    14. Transfer all dishes to warmed serving dishes
    15. Place food on table, admire your handiwork and take a picture. Then enjoy this lovely meal with your guests!