Sunday, 12 April 2015

Easter Parade at Borough Market

The team at Borough market commissioned me to write a blog post on Easter & Spring time in the market, which of course was such a joy to do. See the original article on the Borough market blog here: 

What a warm welcome the Gated Garden provides at the entrance of the market

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris and Easter is just around the corner. Thank goodness we’ve seen the back of dreary old January and February and can now look forward to brighter weather and longer days; and what better way to celebrate the first glimpses of Spring (and being able to step out of your front door without ten layers and an umbrella in tow) than a leisurely stroll around Borough Market, which is just bursting with vibrant colours and incredible produce at the moment.

Spring time in the market

The vivid green of fresh spring shoots is just a treat for the eyes

‘tis the season for lots and lots of daffodils

Fragrant Cherry Blossom brightening up everyone’s day outside Southwark Cathedral

Spring is a time of freshness and colour and nowhere showcases that more than at Borough Market. From Spring flowers - the absolute emblem of the season - raising their cheery little heads, to glossy seasonal cabbages stacked high, right through to the much awaited new season Easter lamb which is beginning to pop up here and there, it’s enough to inspire anyone to get in the Easter spirit and start cooking.

A magnificent cabbage at Elsey and Bent

Stacks of candy coloured forced Rhubarb - impossible to miss

New potatoes and fresh peas - the perfect accompaniment to Easter lamb
UK home-grown purple sprouting broccoli at Ted’s Veg needs no more than a quick steam

The approaching radish season gives us two reasons to celebrate

Fresh veg at Turnips

It’s a shame that Easter doesn’t seem to generate anywhere near the same amount of excitement as Christmas does, especially as it’s a time when so many terrific ingredients from the UK are becoming available. But for me, Easter is still a great excuse for a party and the ideal opportunity to raise a glass of champagne and demolish some juicy roast lamb.

Lamb at the Ginger Pig- a meat-lover’s paradise

Luscious lamb chops at Cumbrian Meats

Of course Easter isn’t Easter without a fresh hot cross bun smothered in butter for brekkie. These buns are surrounded by many superstitions from Old English Folklore, each as mad as the next, including one that says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will keep until the following year (I wouldn’t risk it!). Another insists that if taken on a sea voyage, they protect against shipwreck……so do be sure to stock up if you’re planning to take to the sea anytime soon.

Hot cross buns over at the Flour Station - not quite ‘one a penny, two a penny’ these days sadly, but definitely worth the investment.

Of course every good Easter celebration is not complete without more than your fair share of chocolate. And let’s face it, we’ve all pretty much given up on any new year’s resolutions by this point, so it is the perfect time to enjoy a chocolate egg or two (or three or four…).

Mini eggs at Artisan du Chocolat - far too good to be hidden round the garden.

Egglets at Rabot’s 1745

So make the most of the Easter seasonal produce this year; have a wander around the market and see what you find. I’m sure you will be inspired to get cooking (and eating!).

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with baby veg, Spring cabbage and Champ- Borough Market Commission

The Borough Market team have recently commissioned me to write and produce an Easter blog post and recipe inspired by Easter produce at the market. If you'd like to see the original, follow the links below:


Easter Parade Blog post:

Serves 6

Lamb shanks are surely one of the simplest things to cook; it’s very hard to go wrong and near impossible to over cook them. I don’t think I've ever met a meat eater who doesn't like a lamb shank. I've actually heard children refer to them as ‘those yummy lamb lollipops’ which is about right actually, as they are sweet, sticky and delicious when cooked for a nice long time.
Ask one of the Market’s butchers to French trim the shanks if you like - this just makes them look a little daintier if it’s a special occasion. You can make the lamb and champ in advance and just re-heat on the day. Like most slow-cooked recipes, it just gets better with age as the juices permeate the meat, giving it more flavour.

6 lamb shanks
2 tbsp flour
3 onions, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Bunch of baby carrots, scrubbed.
Bunch of baby leeks, washed
3 sticks celery, washed and chopped
500ml chicken or lamb stock
500ml dry white wine
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs thyme, washed
1 handful of parsley, washed and chopped
Freshly ground salt and pepper

1.5 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
85g butter
300ml milk
Large bunch of spring onions, finely chopped

Spring cabbage:
1 large spring cabbage, washed and broken into leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil

Mint sauce:
Big bunch of mint, washed and finely chopped
8 tbsp white wine vinegar
8 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp light brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 160C. Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper and dust with the flour.

Add a glug of olive oil to a large oven-proof saucepan over a medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add your lamb shanks in batches - two or three at a time to avoid over-crowding the pan.
Cook till golden brown on all sides. Transfer the lamb shanks to a bowl and leave to one side.

To the same saucepan, add your veg and stir. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring to prevent any sticking, until it starts to soften. Pour in the stock and white wine, add the thyme and bay leaves and bring to the boil.

Return your lamb shanks to the pan, place the lid on and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 3 hours, turning the shanks every hour or so, until the meat is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone.

20 minutes before serving, remove the lamb shanks to a plate, cover with tinfoil, and leave to rest in a warm oven.

Return the saucepan to the hob over a medium heat. Add any seasoning needed to the sauce, and then add the parsley, reserving some for garnish right at the end.

Return the meat to the sauce and serve as it is or in a serving dish, with the parsley strewn over it.


Boil the potatoes in salted water till soft (15- 20 mins). Mash them with the butter, then stir the milk in gradually over a low-medium heat until you get the desired consistency. Add the spring onions and then season to taste.

Spring cabbage

Steam the cabbage until just tender, drain and place in a large bowl. Mix all the other ingredients in a jar along with salt and pepper, and pour over the hot cabbage. Toss through and serve.

Mint sauce

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to taste.