Cook up an easy Easter feast

Slow-cooked lamb is the least stressful main course you'll ever make

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Need a dish you can prepare in a few minutes, leave in the oven for hours, and then feed four? This is the one for you. Peeling and cutting the vegetables will take a few minutes, but apart from that, the oven does the work for you. It even makes its own gravy as it cooks!

If you need to stretch the feast further, add more vegetables, a green salad, Yorkshire puddings, or roast tomatoes on the vine and a lightly larger piece of lamb. It would also work just as well with a leg joint and there would be slightly less fat to skim. The long cooking time means the meat will be juicy and meltingly tender.

1 whole shoulder of lamb (approximately 1.8kg)
50g unsalted butter, melted
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head celeriac, peeled and sliced
sprigs of rosemary, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, crushed
500ml lamb stock or chicken stock (use a cube or a concentrated jelly stock pot)
250ml dry white wine (rose also works well)
Sea salt and black pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1.
2) Put the onions, potatoes, carrots, celeriac, rosemary and garlic into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the melted butter and mix.
3) Toss everything together in a large casserole dish.
4) Pour the stock and wine over the potatoes then lay the lamb on top.
5) Season the lamb with plenty of salt and pepper then set over a high heat.
6) When the liquid begins to simmer, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 3 ½-4 hours until tender.
7) Skim off the excess fat and discard.

A more traditional roast leg of lamb is quicker to cook, but you'll be cooking vegetables separately so you'll need to time it so that everything's ready to serve together.

Roast lamb with wine and juniper
Mediterranean-style roast lamb
Perfect roast potatoes
Roast tomatoes on the vine
Not a lamb fan? Ham in cider roasted with cloves and honey
Roast beef sirloin
Rib roast of beef
Stuffed pork loin roast
Caramelized carrots and parsnips
Balsamic roasted beetroot
Poached pears in cassis
Traditional sweet sherry trifle

Easter baking
Easter is traditionally a time for excess after the fasting of Lent when rich foods including eggs, milk and meat were excluded from the diet. Many Easter recipes celebrate by combining eggs and butter with sugar and spices to make rich and delicious sweet treats.The best-known example is probably hot cross buns, but egg-themed and bunny-themed cakes and bakes are also popular. Traditional Simnel cake is the Easter equivalent of Christmas fruit cake and combines marzipan with fruit and spices. And for those with a sweet tooth who prefer Easter in a glass, why not try this Creme Egg chocolate shots recipe?

Hot cross buns
Greek Easter wreath
Easter iced buns
Easter carrot cake with passion-fruit icing
Creme Egg brownies
Homemade Jaffa cakes
White chocolate and lemon mousse Easter eggs
Hidden-centre Easter egg nest cupcakes

More delicious food ideas:
Rediscover these classic British meals
Better than the takeaway
Can't think what to cook tonight? Food for people in a hurry
You can't beat a good roast dinner