What’s On My Table: Russian Easter and Roast Lamb

I’m not a religious person. I do however, love a good tradition. Coming from an Eastern European background, food and religion are tightly woven together. While the religion has faded through the generations, the food traditions have not. I’m more a glutton than anything, so any excuse for a big feed isn’t going to go missed. Now Easter has come and gone and I thought it might be nice to share what it was that I had on my table.

IMG_2413

IMG_2433

IMG_2447

I went a little OTT with the whole cute Easter theme. It’s like the Easter Bunny/Martha Stewart threw up on our dining room table. I’m not mad at it.

IMG_2419

IMG_2421

IMG_2420

IMG_2416

IMG_2423

Season of abundance and all that jazz, I feel it was only right to provide a cornucopia of chocolate on every surface. I feel I succeeded.

IMG_2426

IMG_2432

Now for the main attraction; food. Being a Russian Easter we had a few traditional staples. A brioche-like sweet bread known as Kulich served with a creamy ricotta spread, speckled with booze soaked sultanas. Originally farmers curd or quark is used but I’ve found ricotta to be a good substitute. Studded with almonds are the letters “X” and “B” which loosely translates to “Christ has Risen”.  Both are delicious not only on the day but the proceeding days after, however I have no qualms with these being made year round.

IMG_2474

IMG_2551

IMG_2553

IMG_2552

Next up was the cake. Again I went a little overboard…

IMG_2475

IMG_2549

It’s just a basic chocolate cake with a simple chocolate buttercream, assaulted with Easter eggs, Lindt balls and leftover chocolate nests. I mean…it’s ridiculous.

IMG_2550

IMG_2521

Sides were simple lemon roasted potatoes and another Russian staple of cucumbers with a bushel of dill and a splash of white vinegar. Not pictured was the abundance of side dished my family members provided us with (quinoa salads, roasted chicken legs, roast vegetables etc).

IMG_2458

For main I made a ridiculously easy roast lamb dish. Heres a simple run down of the ingredients.

1 leg of lamb (I’m not going to specify weights here as it can vary so much and as this is slow cooked at a low temperature you can’t go wrong with whatever the weight)

2 large onions chopped finely

2 large carrots chopped finely

1 large leek chopped finely

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bay leaf

2 stalks of rosemary

2 tins of white beans (sometimes I use butterbeans, sometimes navy, all work fine)

large bunch of mint

large bunch of parsley

1 cup of white wine

2 cups water

1 tablespoon mint sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

The whole thing couldn’t be more simple.

In a large fry pan heat the oil and throw in the onion, leeks and carrot. Soften for 10 minutes gently before adding in the rosemary, bay leaf and white wine.

Let that bubble away and bung in the beans, water and mint sauce. Chop all the herbs and sprinkle half into this mixture. Pour this all into a large baking dish and proudly sit the lamb on top of it’s comfy bed. Sprinkle the leftover herbs over the top, along with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and a glug of olive oil.

Into a very hot oven (220 degrees) blister the leg for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and cover tightly with foil before returning into the over. Set the temperature  down very low (about 140) and leave for 6 hours. After which it should be tender and falling apart blissfully while the bean mixture under should have formed crusty edges (this is a desirable phrasing) and be a great gravy substitute. I also like to squeeze half a lemon over the top once it’s rested and ready to serve.

IMG_2444

IMG_2472

Well that was what was on my table. If you want more Russian based recipes let me know. I know I didn’t share any with any detailed recipes but I ran out of time in all my prep to take extra photos. I’ll leave a link below to two recipes I have used in the past for both the Kulich and Pashka.

https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/Recipes/meal-types/dessert?name=pashka&recipeId=678

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220937/kulich-russian-easter-cake/

IMG_2557

Enjoy this picture of my cousin’s dog Tiffany. I mean…come on.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter

x Yak

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s