For those of you who love to cook but are daunted by hosting an Easter feast, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to a showstopping lunch. The related recipes are for a gathering of 6; adjust proportions as needed and ask your friendly butcher for a leg of lamb nearest to the suggested weight.

Menu:

  • Roast Leg of Lamb with Oregano, Garlic and Anchovy
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Cauliflower Cheese
  • Steamed Savoy Cabbage
  • Chocolate Pear and Almond Tart


Selecting the Lamb:

  • 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


The Guide
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
  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

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; 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, 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


The Perfect Easter Lunch Shopping List

Meat:

  • 2.25kg. leg of lamb; spring, winter, hogged or mutton

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

Dairy:

  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheddar, Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
  • Crème fraîche, cream or ice cream

Groceries:

  • Olive oil
  • Jar anchovy fillets
  • Vegetable stock
  • Bottle red wine for cooking
  • Red currant jelly
  • Sea salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Goose fat, olive oil or sunflower oil
  • Plain flour
  • English mustard powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Icing sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Self-raising flour
  • Ground almonds
  • Baking powder
  • Cocoa
  • Flaked almonds


Kitchen Tools Needed:

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