Sunday roast recipes

It's hard to resist the perfect roast chicken. Picture: SUPPLIED

It's hard to resist the perfect roast chicken. Picture: SUPPLIED

Roast lamb leg

1 leg of lamb (a 2kg one will serve 6)

5-10 fat cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

Leaves from 6 or 7 sprigs of thyme (optional)

� teaspoon sea salt

3 carrots, peeled

� large onion

1. Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar with half a teaspoonful of sea salt flakes and grinding of black pepper, plus the thyme if you are using it.

2. Spike the leg of lamb with the tip of a knife. With a teaspoon handle, ease the garlic paste into the cuts, massaging the meat as you go to encourage it to go deeper in.

3. Preheat the oven to 185C. Rub the leg of lamb with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Put three carrots and a halved onion in the roasting tin and lay the lamb on top. Roast for 25 minutes per 450g, basting the meat occasionally. Allow to rest in a warm place for half an hour while you make the gravy.

4. Try a fresh yoghurt sauce made by mixing a teacupful of Greek yoghurt with a handful of chopped mint leaves, a couple of chopped spring onions and a small clove of garlic, crushed. Season with salt and pepper, plus a squeeze of lemon juice if it needs it.

Best Yorkshire puddings

140g plain flour

4 eggs

200ml milk

Oil, for cooking

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Muffin tray

Oven mitts

1. Heat oven to 230C. Drizzle a little oil evenly into a non-stick muffin tin and place in the oven to heat through. Be careful to use oven mitts and keep children away.

2. To make the batter, tip 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth. Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to rest for 30mins.

3. Pour the batter into a jug, then carefully slide the muffin tray out of the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes. Place the tray back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Serve immediately. You can now cool them and freeze for up to one month.

Ultimate roast potatoes

1.5kg potatoes, peeled

1 tablespoon normal flour

Oil

Fresh or dried rosemary

1 tablespoon sea salt

1. Peel the potatoes and cut into egg-sized chunks. Boil them in well-salted water until the outside of the potato is done, then drain.

2. Leave to dry in a strainer with a tea towel over the top to remove excess moisture. Heat the oven to 220C.

3. Put oil in a roasting tin, big enough to take the potatoes in a single layer – you need enough oil to make a 1.5cm layer on the bottom.

4. Put the tray in the oven to heat up – it needs to be shimmering hot. Meanwhile give the sieve a good shake to rough up the potatoes a bit, mix the flour with a tablespoon of salt and sprinkle over. The salt takes some of the moisture from the outside of the potato and adding to the crunch factor.

5. Slowly add the potatoes into the hot oil – it should sizzle – and turn them until coated.

6. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn and roast for 20 minutes more, until crisp and golden.

7. Chop the rosemary and sprinkle on top, and serve.

Sunday roast chicken

1 chicken, about 1.6kg

Sea salt

3 carrots, peeled

1 lemon, halved

2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs

1. The day before you are to serve it, sprinkle the chicken inside and out with salt and mixed herbs. Put it on a deep dish, cover with a tea towel and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next day, preheat the oven to 190C. Brush any excess salt off the chicken. Put three evenly sized carrots on the bottom of a roasting tin. Pop the chicken on top, and give it an hour to come up to room temperature.

3. Just before roasting, squeeze the lemon over and push the skins inside the cavity of the chicken. Roast the chicken for 1 to 1 hour 10 minutes until golden and when you stick a knife in the flesh between the leg and the breast the juices run clear or just palest pink (it will finish cooking as it rests).

4. Baste the bird occasionally during cooking. If there is not enough fat or juices in the tin, then use a little melted butter. Take the chicken out of the tray and leave to rest in a warm place for half an hour while you make the gravy.