Slow-cooked Leg of Lamb with Green Olive Salsa and Spiced Lemon

Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • 1 leg of lamb, bone in, approx. 1.8kg, brined
  • 2 garlic bulbs, halved horizontally
  • 2 onions, cut into 2cm-thick slices
  • 1 bunch of rosemary
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (as many seeds removed as possible)
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • ½ bunch of mint, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 100g Nocellara olives, finely chopped
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 50g anchovies in oil, finely chopped
  • sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3.
  2. Gently score the skin of the lamb with criss-cross marks to create a diamond pattern.
  3. Put the garlic, onions and rosemary in a deep roasting tray. Place the lamb leg on top and sprinkle it generously with freshly ground black pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 2½ hours.
  4. Meanwhile, make the spiced lemon. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  5. To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste with sea salt.
  6. Remove the lamb leg from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes, then carve and serve.
Published: January 2018

Triple Chocolate Celebration Cake

Serves: 10-12

Developed by my friend Pamela Black, this is a cake that doesn’t need too much of an introduction – the title says it all! It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

  • 350g (12oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 350g (12oz) caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 350g (12oz) plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
  • 40g (1½oz) drinking chocolate
  • 200g (7oz) natural yoghurt
  • 110g (3¾oz) dark chocolate (55–62% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • gold leaf or icing sugar, to decorate
  • 110g (3¾oz) white chocolate (melted and cooled)
  • 225g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 450g (1lb) icing sugar
  • 110g (3¾oz) icing sugar
  • 50g (1¾oz) cocoa powder
  • 15g (½oz) butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Four 18cm (7in) sandwich tins; baking sheet

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas mark 4. Grease the base and sides of the tins, and dust lightly with flour. Put the butter in a large bowl and cream it with a wooden spoon until soft, or use an electric beater on slow or a food processor. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tablespoon flour each time and beating well after each addition. Sift the remaining flour, the baking powder, cocoa and drinking chocolate together in a bowl. Gradually fold into the egg mixture to combine. Finally, fold in the yoghurt.
  3. Divide between the prepared tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out and leave on the rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, make chocolate curls for the topping. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stirring regularly. Spread thinly over the back of a baking sheet and leave it to cool in the fridge until firm but not fridge-hard.
  5. Hold a long, sharp knife at the top of the baking sheet and tilt it at an angle towards you with one hand on the handle and the other at the top of the blade. Very carefully pull the knife towards you, scraping the chocolate as you go. Curls should start to peel up from the sheet. If it crumbles, the chocolate is too cold, and if it goes gooey, it’s too warm. Keep scraping down, returning the sheet to the fridge for a few minutes if it gets too warm, until you have shaved all the chocolate and collected enough curls for the top of the cake. Leave somewhere cool until needed. (They can be made a few days in advance.)
Published: January 2018