Meet Marcus Bean - Celebrity Chef
I caught up with the very busy TV chef Marcus Bean, to capture him on camera in his studio kitchen, talking me through how to cook a perfect Easter lamb roast. Marcus and his wife Jenny own and run Brompton Cookery School in Shrewsbury where they run a wide selection of cookery courses from basics to masterclasses and traditional British to tastes of exotic far-flung countries. Their ethos is to teach in a way that inspires you to experiment more, taste and create dishes that you thought you’d never master.
In this blog post, Marcus wants to give you tips and techniques but also inspire you to be creative and adapt his recipe to produce something special in your kitchen. In fact, we hadn’t decided what to cook until I arrived and he proved to me just how easy it is to mix up some fresh ingredients and spices he had on hand to produce a very tasty Sunday roast.
Preparation is everything
Here Marcus is deboning a leg of lamb but this could be something your butcher can do if you’re not that confident in the kitchen yet. Obviously Marcus is a bit of a pro, using the butchery skills he teaches at Brompton Cookery School. I’m pretty handy in the kitchen myself and enjoy cooking but have always cooked the leg of lamb with the bone in. Marcus prefers this method because it really infuses loads of flavours inside and through the meat and you can slice the meat straight off in nice big chunks with all that flavour evenly absorbed.
Experiment with ingredients
Marcus made a paste from lots of fresh coriander, fresh mint, garlic, onions, capers and added some fresh cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds, ground together with black pepper to use as a marinade. He’s a big fan of spices and uses it on his courses to create fragrant dishes of Asia and India.
The key is to create as much flavour as possible with the marinade, but his advice is to experiment and use any combination of fresh ingredients infused with spices. If you don’t have some of the ingredients he used today, or your taste buds prefer something else, simply replace them with anything you fancy.
Flavour, inside and out
When you’ve made up the paste, taste it before you spread it onto the lamb. Make sure you’re happy and add more garlic or anything else you feel is lacking.
Now use your hands and get stuck in, spreading the paste all over the meat. Marcus recommends you leave no part of the meat unmarinaded.
You could leave the lamb in the fridge overnight for an even more intense flavour, but equally, you can roast it straight away.
Roll the leg and tie it up so you are wrapping all that lovely flavour on the inside, ready to infuse throughout and cook it as a whole joint in the oven.
Make your veggies work for you
The best way to roast a meat joint is to get as much flavour as possible, not only on the inside. Use veggies to cook the lamb on top of, so that you add all that flavour and take it even further my making a gravy from this once it’s out of the oven. Here Marcus used carrots, onions, garlic and thyme. He placed the lamb on top of this and popped it into the oven.
Jazz up your roast potatoes
We all love roast potatoes with our roast, but they take such a long time to cook properly, so Marcus has a great tip to make a quick and easy, yet delicious potato dish to go with your lamb.
Boil and drain some new potatoes. Cook and chop some smoked bacon or even local chorizo (anything that infuses flavours as you roast them off).
Drizzle some rapeseed oil onto the potatoes, add thyme and garlic and sprinkle with the chopped bacon. Roast in the oven to finish off. Delicious.
Roast the lamb in a preheated oven on 200°C for about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 150°C and cook for about 20 minutes per 500g. Marcus’s top tip is to use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature. You can buy this from any good cook shop. Push it into the centre of the meat and for a medium to medium rare finish, get your internal temperature to about 55°C.
Rest before carving
In an ideal world, serving your leg of lamb pink as medium to medium rare means it’ll still be lovely and moist on the inside.
You can obviously cook it for longer if you want it well done, just cook it to a higher internal temperature. Make sure that when you take the meat out of the oven, you rest it for a good 20-30 minutes before carving. It allows the juices in the meat to relax. Use a long, really sharp knife and a fork to hold the lamb in place.
A Flavourful Feast
Carve and serve.
The great thing about the way it’s cooked is that every slice has all the flavours coming through and you can really taste those spices and fresh ingredients.
What Marcus showed me today is that you don’t always need to follow a recipe to create something special. You can play with your own spices and ingredients and create an easy Sunday feast, in this case, perfect for Easter.
Marcus’s Top Tips
Debone your lamb so that you can spread the marinade on the inside and then wrap it up into a whole joint for maximum flavour
Use fresh ingredients infused with spices to create your marinade
Be creative and create your own flavours
Use a digital thermometer to cook it to the desired internal temperature
Add even more flavour to your meal by cooking the lamb on top of some delicious veggies mixed with garlic and thyme
Be creative with your potatoes
Why not have a go as he suggests?
Let’s tell your story
I’m Barry Phillips, The Artisan’s Storyteller and I’ve made it my mission to help you tell your unique story with authentic, high-quality photography.
I'd love to hear what your business is all about and discuss how we can collaborate on producing professional images for your branding, promotion and advertising. Please get in touch today.