Saturday 16 December 2017

Big dinners are not just for Christmas Day... enjoy roast chicken, lamb or beef at any time

WHEN I'm home, Christmas dinner is not the only big dinner we have. I like to cook rack of lamb, chicken and beef on the days leading up to Christmas. My mother loves it and so do the rest of the family. Here is one great menu I like to prepare for them at home in Tipperary.

Roasted Lemon and Rosemary leg of Lamb


1 leg of lamb, bone in

4 tbsp lemon juice

7 to 10 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp rosemary, chopped

3 tbsp thyme, chopped

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp coarse ground pepper


1 onion, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

400ml chicken stock

200ml red wine, such as a cabernet

4 tbsp mixed herbs, parsley and chives, chopped


Preheat oven to 200°C

With your hands, rub the lamb with lemon juice. Sprinkle with garlic, rosemary and thyme and press on to the lamb using your fingers.

Season the meat with the salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan.

Put the lamb in the oven for 25-30 minutes to seal the meat.

Reduce temperature to 180°C and continue to cook for a further 1 hour and 20 minutes for a medium result.

Remove the lamb from the pan, cover with foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.


Place the pan on the stove. Bring to a high heat and sauté the onions in the oil for three minutes.

Add chicken stock and wine to deglaze the pan using a wooden spoon.

Reduce over a high heat until the sauce coats the back of the spoon and has a nice semi-thick consistency.

Add the mixed herbs, parsley and chives and stir for two minutes.

Slice the lamb and serve with the sauce.

Lemon Roasted potatoes and carrots with thyme

Serves 4-6


2 lbs baby potatoes, washed and halved lengthways

1 lb carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced

2 lemons, juiced

2 tbsp butter


Preheat oven to 200°C

Boil potatoes for at least five minutes to get them tender. Drain and set on a rimmed baking sheet.

Add carrots to potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Toss to coat evenly and roast for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven, place in a bowl and toss with thyme, lemon juice and butter.

Chocolate Custard


Makes 6



500g bittersweet chocolate

500ml double cream

30ml dark rum or whisky


Bring cream to the boil and pour over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. >Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.

After five minutes stir chocolate mixture until it is shiny, add rum or whisky and stir well.


2 eggs

3 tbsp cornflour

700ml milk

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla


>Whisk eggs, cornflour and milk together in a saucepan until smooth.

>Continue whisking on the stove top until the custard becomes thick.

>Remove from heat, whisk in sugar and vanilla. Cool the mixture to room temperature.


>475ml cream

>4 tbsp caster sugar


>Whisk until stiff peaks form.


>In a clear glass, stack ingredients, ganache, custard and finally cream. >Decorate with chocolate shavings.

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