A festive feast for a jolly season

Traditional meets modern in this easy-to-make meal. A roasted leg of lamb meets a boozy ice cream bombe to really ignite the jolliness of the season.

A festive feast for a jolly season
- Advertisement -

Deboned leg of lamb

To make this festive feast for six people, you will need:

  • A 2kg deboned leg of lamb
  • 4 anchovies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, each 100mm in length
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh and coarse ground black pepper
  • 160ml of dry white wine
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour for the gravy

A 2kg deboned leg of lamb will produce around 300g of cooked meat per diner. It is also better to use a net to keep the lamb together, rather than string, for a better carving experience. You can buy the lamb deboned, or ask your butcher to debone it for you.

- Advertisement -

If you do the latter, ask the butcher to cut the bone into 100mm sections. You can use this when making the gravy for extra flavour or to make stock that you can freeze and use at a later date.

1 Start with the lamb. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Peel the garlic and cut each clove lengthways into quarters. Rinse the fresh rosemary sprigs and cut into 25mm sections.

Cut the anchovies into skinny slivers. Rub the outside of the lamb with olive oil, before adding the ground black pepper. With a narrow bladed filleting knife, make small incisions all over the lamb.

Insert the garlic, rosemary and anchovy slivers into the incisions. Put the lamb into a roasting pan big enough to leave a space of 200mm all around the meat, and roast for 25 minutes. Drop the heat to 160°C, pour the wine over the meat and let roast for another 15 minutes per 500g.

This will produce lamb pink in the middle. You can also use a meat thermometer. Stick this into the thickest part of the roast; 50°C will produce meat that is rare, 60°C will produce medium meat and 70°C will produce meat that is well done.

3 Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Pour the carving juices back into the roasting pan, mix with the residual roasting juices and, with a little heat from the hob, slowly add a little flour to thicken the sauce.

Minty peas

  • Freshly shelled peas
  • 2 tablespoons or more of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint

1 While the lamb is roasting, make the side dishes. First the peas. Decide on the quantity you need, and boil until the peas are as hard or soft as you like them. However, remember that the longer you boil them, the duller the colour will become. Drain the peas, and mix in the butter and finely chopped mint.

Bean mash

  • 2 cans of white beans
  • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice


1 Drain and rinse the canned beans. Finely chop the garlic and rosemary. Pour the olive oil into a saucepan and bring it up to medium heat. Add the beans and let them cook until warm. You can add an optional teaspoon of lemon juice, before removing the beans from the heat. Add a little salt and pepper and mash them into a creamy pulp.

Pumpkin salad

  • 500g of pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g of cooked beetroot, sliced
  • 100g of feta cheese, cubed
  • 100g of pomegranate rubies
  • 1 packet of basil leaves

1 Preheat the oven to 200˚C. In a baking tray, place the cubed pumpkin and onion wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until the veggies are cooked.

2 Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the veggies onto a platter. Add the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Blue cheese salad dressing

  • 200g streaky bacon
  • 125ml sour cream
  • Big pinch of garlic crush salt
  • 150g blue cheese
  • Squeeze of a lemon
  • 1 small handful of chives
  • 1 tablespoon of milk or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • Roasted almond flakes (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper and set aside until needed.

2 Add the sour cream, garlic crush salt, blue cheese, and lemon juice to a small bowl. Using an electric beater, combine the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Add the chives and stir to combine, before adding the milk or water.

3 Mix until the dressing reaches the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put in the fridge until needed.

4 Place the bacon slices in the lined baking tray, and roast for about 15 to 20 miuntes, or until the bacon is crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before crumbling the bacon. Set aside.

5 Cut the head of the iceberg lettuce into wedges and arrange on a large plate. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the bacon and toasted almonds. Serve with the rest of the dressing.

Boozy bombe by Nomvuselelo Mncube

  • A 2ℓ tub of vanilla ice cream
  • 250g fruit mince
  • The zest of one orange
  • Big pinch of allspice
  • 100g ginger cookies, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons of spiced rum
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 1 x 93g packet of Maltesers

1 Line a 2ℓ round bowl, or any other mould of the same size, with cling wrap and set aside. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let stand for about 10 minutes until softened (not melted). Stir in the fruit mince, orange zest, allspice, biscuits and rum, and stir well. Transfer the ice cream to the lined bowl and freeze for two to three hours until it hardens again.

2 While the ice cream is freezing, melt the white and milk chocolate in the microwave in separate bowls. Set aside.

3 Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let stand for about five minutes. Remove it from the bowl or mould and cling wrap. Place the ice cream on a cake stand and drizzle the melted chocolate over the ice cream. Garnish with Maltesers and serve.