Easter feast

Here’s a Sunday lunch to impress from the kitchen team at Doxford Hall in Northumberland, where Easter heralds sunshine and Champagne, just as it should

Doxford Hall head chef Paul Blakey and his team are celebrating after the hotel was awarded its second AA Rosette, so we thought it only polite to head to north Northumberland to ask them to create a special Easter lunch menu for us.

We have a thing, here at appetite, for simple recipes, but we do sometimes push the boat out, and so the main course here is a wee bit more complex than our usual fayre. However, it is Easter, and there are times, culinary friends, when we believe a bit of forward planning makes all the difference, so we have stuck with Paul’s seriously impressive lamb recipe and hope you will, too.

The elegant George Runciman Restaurant at the hotel lists its regional suppliers on its menu, and we recommend you use your own local lamb for this dish.

Doxford Hall, tel 01665 589 700, www.doxfordhall.com

Alnwick Rum and Nutmeg Pannacotta

Serves 6-8

• 300g caster sugar
• 4 tbsp glucose (or Golden Syrup)
• 600ml double cream
• 150ml milk
• 3 leaves gelatine
• 2 shots Alnwick Rum
• pinch grated or ground nutmeg

Soak gelatine in cold water until soft. Make caramel with 250g caster sugar and a little water (enough to dissolve the sugar). Allow caramel to cool slightly (it will start to thicken) and add glucose. Bring cream, milk, rum and remainder of sugar to just below the boil. Take off the heat. Grate a pinch of nutmeg into milk (or add a pinch of ground) and carefully add the caramel. Add softened gelatine and whisk, then pass through a sieve. Serve in dessert-size moulds such as ramekins.

Scallops & Sauce Gribiche

Serves 4

• 12 large scallops (coral removed)
• 1 medium celeriac
• salad leaves, to garnish
• olive oil
Sauce Gribiche
• 1tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp English mustard
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 100ml pasteurised egg yolk
• 500ml olive oil
• 500ml vegetable oil
• 100g chopped gherkins
• 100g chopped capers
• 50g chopped shallots
• 2 boiled eggs, grated

Sauce Whiz egg yolk, mustard and vinegar in a food processor and very gradually add oil. When you have a creamy mayonnaise texture, place in a bowl, add shallots, gherkins and capers, season, add egg.
Celeriac Peel, finely slice into strips, pan-fry in olive oil, season, set aside and keep warm.
Scallops Lightly season and pan fry 30 secs each side. To assemble, place scallops on top of celeriac with sauce.. Garnish with salad.

Loin & Shoulder of Lowtown Farm Lamb

Serves 4

• 2 lamb loins (skinless)
• 500g lamb shoulder (boneless)
Marinade for shoulder
• zest & juice of one lemon
• 4 cloves garlic
• bunch rosemary
• bunch mint
• rock salt
• cracked black pepper
• olive oil
To cook shoulder
• ½ bottle red wine
• 3-4 bay leaves
• sprig rosemary
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
Dauphinoise potato
• 1kg Maris Piper potatoes
• 3-4 clove garlic
• 400m double cream
• 100ml milk
• salt & pepper
• 50g butter
Minted peas
• 100g peas
• chopped fresh mint or mint sauce

Shoulder(1) Score, cover with marinade, refrigerate, covered, overnight. Seal in oil, season and place in a casserole dish. Add red wine and cover with water. Add herbs and vegetables. Cover with lid, cook at 160C for 4 hours. Remove from oven, allow to cool, flake meat, discarding most of fat, check seasoning, add chopped mint or a little mint sauce. Once cold, roll tightly into a sausage between layers of clingfilm, refrigerate for six hours. Reserve cooking liquor – sieve and skim fat from the top.
Dauphinoise potatoes Puree garlic, peel and slice potatoes, layer in a casserole dish, seasoning every other layer. Mix cream, milk and garlic, pour over and dot butter on top. Cover with greaseproof paper and weigh down. Bake at 170C for up to 45mins.
Loin Season with salt and pepper. Seal in a hot pan, cook in oven for 3-4 mins (medium-rare), or 4-5 mins (well done).
Shoulder(2) Remove shoulder sausage from fridge, cut into four portions, remove clingfilm, seal in a hot pan, oven cook
for 5-8 mins.
To assemble Spoon Dauphinoise onto each plate, add shoulder, peas, sliced loin on top of the peas, and some of the reduced cooking liquor over the top.

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