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Kirsty’s cooking blog: egg hunting, lamb recipes for Easter & best lemon curd & chocolate tart

My Easter Sunday will be spent taking part in our family’s chocolate egg hunt around the garden (tempest and ice-storm permitting). This highly competitive and occasionally combative sport might look a little odd to the outside eye, as we have more pensioners than pre-schoolers on the starting line these days. But traditions must be preserved and scores must be settled, so it seems set to continue for a few years yet.

How do you spend your Easter?
Without getting into a debate about what the festival means, I hope you get some time to share a meal (or egg hunt) with family and friends. Our Easter hampers have sold out, so many of you will be cooking our roast leg of lamb.

We’ve given you two ways to cook it – slow-roast or traditional, with home-made mint sauce. 

to prepare the lamb for both cooking methods:

ImageCut several slits in the skin of the lamb, just large enough to poke in a clove of garlic and a small piece of rosemary in each. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper.

ingredients

1.8kg leg of lamb
small sprigs of rosemary
a few garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to season

for slow roast lamb

Preheat the oven to 150C. Place the prepared lamb in a snug fitting roasting pan and cover with foil. Roast for 3 ½ hours, basting every 30 mins. Remove the foil and roast for another 30 mins to brown the skin a little.
Slow roasting doesn’t require the meat to be rested at the end as it will be very tender and will shred apart with a fork. It will shrink up as it cooks, so if you’re serving more than 6 or want leftovers, you might want to stick to the traditional roasting method.

traditional roast lamb

Preheat the oven to 220C. Put the prepared lamb in a roasting tin and put in the oven. Roast for 20 mins, then turn the heat down to 190C and roast for 50 mins for medium-rare lamb, or longer if you like it more well done.
Traditional roast lamb should be wrapped in foil and kept in a warm place for 20-30 mins before carving to let the juices settle and tenderise the meat.

for the gravy

Once the lamb is removed from the pan, skim off most of the fat from the remaining juices. Place the pan on the hob (make sure it’s a flameproof pan, or decant the juices into one) and stir in 2 tbsp plain flour. Stir for a couple of mins to cook the flour. Add a good glass of red wine and 1 tsp redcurrant jelly. Stir for 1 min, then add 300ml stock. Simmer for a few mins.

for the mint sauce

Put a large handful of chopped fresh mint leaves in a heatproof bowl with 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp boiling water. Leave to cool, then stir in 2 tbsp white wine vinegar. Leave to steep for an hour or so if you can.

for my lemon curd & chocolate tart

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If you’re not tucking into our homemade Bakewell tart on Easter Sunday, or have inadvertently eaten it already (easily done), I hope you try making our lemon curd and chocolate tart, to see the recipe click here. It was one of the most popular things I’ve ever brought into the farm office for staff to taste test. 
There’s no requirement to make pastry, and the curd is easy to make; just remember to keep the heat low so it doesn’t curdle. Pop any leftover curd in the fridge and spread on a thick piece of toast for an indulgent breakfast or afternoon treat. Better than a chocolate egg (and I may not find any).

Kirsty’s blog – use your loaf

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In our house, my giant hound and I share different views on Hallowe’en and Bonfire night (or whatever you want to call them) – even before we get into the commercial nonsense debate.

I don’t like yo-yoing up and down to feed the trick or treaters, but he loves the attention every doorbell ringer gives him, even if they look like Freddy Krueger. I’m crackers for a firework, while he needs a sedative to get him through the season’s unidentifiable bangs.

Neither of us is that fussed about eating pumpkin though, particularly when there’s tastier squash around – however, if you took away an impossibly large orange orb from one of our Riverford Farm Pumpkin Days last weekend and you’re wondering what to do with all the innards once it’s carved, don’t dump them in the compost. Soup it up with curry spices or ginger to warm your hands in between lighting sparklers, or try this pumpkin and pecan loaf. The puréed pumpkin keeps the loaf moist and it’s easy to make, so it’s good for baking with the kids.

pumpkin & pecan loaf
To make your pumpkin purée, steam pieces of pumpkin flesh until tender. Leave in a colander to cool and drain off the excess moisture, then blitz in a food processor until smooth.

100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
200g light brown sugar
1 large egg
100g pecans, roughly chopped (or use walnuts)
250g self-raising flour
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
good pinch of salt
120ml milk
225g pumpkin purée

Butter a 1 litre loaf tin and line it with baking parchment. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat together until light and fluffy (use an electric hand mixer if you have one, it’s easier). Stir in the pecans and pumpkin purée. Add the flour and cinnamon and stir to combine (don’t over mix it). Stir in the milk. Pour into the tin. Bake at 180C for 50-60 mins, until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 mins. Turn out onto a cake rack and leave to cool completely or serve slightly warm, in thick slices.

How to make celeriac remoulade

Remoulade sounds impressive but it’s really simple. Watch Guy Watson make the starter from our Valentine’s menu.

what’s what in the box – 4th february 2011

What’s what in the box – 17th January 2011

In this week’s video, Guy Watson shows you how to make marmalade.

what’s what in the box – 17th january 2011

order a marmalade kit from Riverford Organic

What’s what in the box – 10th January 2011

In this week’s video, Guy Watson shows you how to cook celeriac soup.

what’s what in the box – 10th january 2011

What’s what in the box – 1st November 2010

In this week’s video, Guy talks about kale and cabbage.

what’s what in the box – 1st november 2010

red russian kale

This is a sweet and tender kale. You can cook the whole thing including the stem, especially if you finely chop it at the bottom. Steam briefly and serve.

cavalo nero

This is robust with an earthy, almost bitter iron flavour. Cavalo nero has tough ribs. Grip the rib with one hand and with the other, pull the leaf away. When you get to the centre leaves, they’re tender so you can chop these without stripping them.

If you’re going to boil greens you need to have quite a big pot with plenty of water and a little salt. Plunge them in and get them boiled quickly. When they have been going for a couple of minutes, take them out and refresh under cold water to stop them cooking. Squeeze out as much of the water as you can with your hands. Cavalo nero goes great with a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon and a bit of pepper.

order cavalo nero online

What’s what in the box – 25th October 2010

In this week’s video, Guy talks about radicchio and gives tips and ideas on using it.

what’s what in the box – 25th october 2010

radicchio
These grow really well in Autumn, after the lettuce season is over. The cannon ball like Chioggia are most commonly sold in the UK but we prefer these tall,  cos shaped radicchio known as Treviso.

It does have a really bitter flavour, so can be used raw in salad, but in a small quantity with a sweet dressing or with fruit or roast squash. If you do find it too bitter to use in a salad, it can be cooked.

Try our recipes for grilled radicchio, radicchio and red wine risotto and radicchio pasta or order radicchio on our website.

What’s what in the box – 4th October 2010

In this week’s video, Jane gives you tips on using sweetcorn, savoy cabbage and calabrese broccoli.

what’s what in the box – 4th october 2010

sweetcorn

Here is our recipe for creamed corn with cumin and thyme.

savoy cabbage
Try cooking it in a little bit of oil with bacon and caraway seeds. Cook the seeds and bacon, then when the seeds start to pop, throw in the shredded, washed cabbage and sweat it down for 5 minutes.

calabrese broccoli
Try this recipe for Annie O’Carroll’s roast calabrese with chilli and soy.

What’s what in the box – 20th September 2010

In this week’s video, Kirsty talks about sweetcorn and sweet potatoes. Look out for the baby cows!

what’s what in the box – 20th september 2010

sweetcorn
If you don’t have a big cooking pot, make an incision and the cob should snap in half. Here is a recipe Jane uses for sweetcorn fritters.

If you’re not a vegetarian, we have a recipe for chicken and sweetcorn soup here.

order our sweetcorn online

sweet potatoes

These can be used for a simple supper dish – roast them like a jacket potato. You can also mash them. You can slice them thinly and use in a gratin and you don’t need to peel them. They also work well roasted in wedges with olive oil, paprika, cayenne and a few herbs at 200˚C (gas 6) for 40-45 minutes.

order our sweet potatoes online

What’s what in the box – 13th September 2010

In this week’s video, Kirsty talks about celery, beetroot and beans.

what’s what in the box – 13th september 2010

Celery
Sometimes the stalks are tougher on the outside, but you can peel these parts with a peeler. You can eat celery raw, but if you are going to cook it, here is a recipe for celery, tomato and bean salad.

You can also try slicing it up with onions, carrots, leeks, put it all in a casserole dish, then

Another way of cooking it is by chopping up onions, carrots, leeks, put it all in a casserole dish, then cooking for 8-10 minutes before adding the celery and stock, vinegar and herbs. Bake at 160˚C for about 20 minutes.

Beetroot

If you have kids who really hate the beetroot, try our beetroot crisps.

Beans

Try our recipe from one of our Riverford Cooks for roast green beans and red peppers.