Roast Lamb and Chocolate for Easter

Roast Lamb and Chocolate for Easter

Easter is all about Roast Lamb and Chocolate for me writes Jenny Morris in this week The Next 48hOURS in Cape Town.

The reference to lamb in Christianity goes back to the book of Genesis, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, a few hundred years later the pope adopted it and a whole roasted lamb became the feature of the Pope’s Easter Dinner, and has been ever since.

Over the Easter weekend, families across the country and around the world will celebrate Easter with roast lamb dinners, Easter egg hunts and lots of chocolate, be it bunnies, chickens or chocolate eggs.

The custom of giving candy and chocolate for Easter, meanwhile, first appeared in the Victorian age.

The famous Cadbury factory in England developed new technology which allowed manufacturers to create hollow sculptures made of chocolate, instead of painstakingly applying layer after layer of chocolate to individual moulds as they had before. These new processes meant that higher-quality candies were available for a cheaper price, and the market quickly boomed; by 1893 the Cadbury company alone offered a whopping 19 different product lines for the Easter market, all you have to do is look at the shelves in your local supermarket to see how those 19 product lines have grown.

I must say as a child I always felt cheated by those hollow eggs, but forget the chocolate eggs, give me the real deal, fat slabs of nut studded chocolate do it for me, lamb, pickled fish and hot cross buns.

Let’s Cook!!

Slow, lazy man roast lamb

Okay boys, this dish is simple and easy enough to prepare. This gives us girls the night off – time to take a nice deep bubble bath and hello, no headache!

The vegetables

6 celery stalks, roughly chopped

4 peeled carrots, roughly chopped

1 large head of garlic

2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced

4 large potatoes, washed and cut into thick rounds

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

The lamb

2 kg free-range lamb, a nice-sized leg or shoulder

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

large stem fresh rosemary

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Toss all the vegetable ingredients together and place them at the bottom of large roasting pan.

Oil the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Brown gently in a frying pan and remove. Place the rosemary stem onto the vegetables, top with the lamb, pour in the stock and lemon juice, and seal with foil. Just forget about it for 2 ½ hours.

Check for tenderness (NOW how do you explain that to a man!?)   Haaaaaa ,the meat should fall away from the bone, serve with a mound of buttery, garlicky, polenta.

Serves 4-6

©Jenny Morris All Rights reserved 2013-2017

Herbed rack of roast lamb

I love the way my home smells while the lamb roasts!

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles

2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds, ground

2 tablespoons toasted coriander seeds, ground

2 tablespoons toasted caraway seeds or fennel seeds, ground

1 tablespoon lemon zest

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 racks of lambs, with 8 cutlets each


freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons ready-made English mustard

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Mix together the rosemary, cumin, coriander, caraway, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil and bread crumbs.

Season the lamb racks well with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb all over. Place on a roasting tray and spread each rack with mustard. Divide the herb crumbs and press them onto the racks. Roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, or till done the way you like them.

Rest before carving so that all the delicious juices go back into the meat! Serve with crisp and sticky lemony roasted potatoes, roasted butternut salad and some buttery green beans.

Serves 4

©Jenny Morris All Rights reserved 2013-2017

Jenny Morris shares her roast lamb recipes with 48hOURS readers