A Traditional Easter Lunch

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson

This year I am opting for a very traditional Sunday roast to feed the family on Easter Sunday.

Something I can prepare a day or so earlier and then put in the oven and let slowly cook while I potter about doing my own thing. Lunch shouldn’t always be a drama, and with these simple recipes you will love it, the tastes are amazing, yet the preparation work is minimal. Gives you more time to relax, spend time with your family and sneak in chocolate here and there!

The key to these dishes is beautiful, fresh produce. You want your lunch to look crunchy and light, healthy and delicious. I have opted for a lot of greens because at this time of year they are looking lush and plentiful, but also because to matches my table setting! I know, I’m tragic…

Fresh Pea Salad ::

  • 500g fresh peas, shelled
  • 1 small red onion, sliced finely
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 mint leaves
  • 10 green or purple basil leaves
  • 80g salted ricotta, grated roughly

Directions ::

  1. Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, then drain and refresh in iced water.
  2. Remove the cold peas from the water and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the onion, olive oil and vinegar — you should just be able to taste the vinegar but it shouldn't be too strong.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss through the mint, basil and ricotta and serve immediately.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts ::

  • 500g Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions ::

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Place Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly and shake to coat. Tip out into a baking tray and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning.
  3. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be dark brown when cooked. Serve immediately.

Roast Pork Shoulder & Potato and Fennel Gratin ::

Potato and Fennel Gratin Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg Maris Piper potatoes 
  • 5 bulbs of fennel 
  • 4 cloves of garlic 
  • 4 anchovy fillets 
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary 
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating 
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese 
  • 400 ml double cream 
  • 200 ml single cream

Pork Shoulder Ingredients

  • 1 x 5 kg shoulder of pork, bone in, skin removed and reserved
  • olive oil
  • 4 onions
  • 2-3 eating apples
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage (30g)
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 x 500 ml bottle of cider
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 dried chillies

Directions ::

  1. Preheat the oven to full whack (240°C/475°F/gas 9).
  2. Toss the reserved pork skin in a little oil and sea salt (you can either slice it into long, thin strips or leave as one piece), lay it flat on a tray and roast until perfectly golden and crisp, keeping a close eye on it, then remove.
  3. Peel the onions, then cut into wedges with the apples. Trim and roughly chop the celery and break the garlic bulb into cloves.
  4. Scatter it all in your largest roasting tray with the sage and bay leaves, pour in the cider and add a good splash of water.
  5. Bash the fennel seeds, cloves, dried chillies and 1 heaped teaspoon of salt to a fine dust in a pestle and mortar, then massage all over the pork with a drizzle of oil.
  6. Sit the pork in the tray, cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil, place in the oven and turn the temperature down to 130°C/250°F/gas ½.
  7. Roast for 10 to 12 hours, or until the meat pulls easily away from the bone, then remove from the oven and cover with a couple of clean tea towels to keep warm.
  8. Turn the oven up to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  9. Peel the potatoes, then cut lengthways into wedges along with the fennel. Parboil in a couple of pans of boiling salted water – the potatoes for 7 minutes and the fennel for 6 – then drain, leave to steam dry completely, and place in a large, high-sided roasting tray (25cm x 35cm).
  10. Peel the garlic and blitz until fine with the anchovies, rosemary leaves and a good splash of boiling water in a blender.
  11. Finely grate in half the nutmeg and most of the Parmesan and pour in the cream. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, blitz again, then pour over the veg.
  12. Grate over the remaining Parmesan and bake at the bottom of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
  13. Serve everything in the middle of the table with a whole load of simply steamed seasonal greens. You’ll get a natural brothy gravy underneath the pork – reduce it on the hob before serving, if desired.

 

Credits: Recipes via Allrecipes.com, Jamie Oliver & Goodfood.com