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winter dinner

Prepare-ahead winter dinner


Planning is very important to successful entertaining. These dishes can all be started hours before your guests are due. I have sometimes made a potato gratin the day before I intend to serve it.


Parsnip and curry soup

This comforting soup just needs a quick reheat and a crisping of the garnish of curry leaves.

Seven hour leg of lamb with anchovy and garlic

The seven-hour lamb recipe has been much admired. Depending on the size of the leg you may find as I did that the meat was falling off the bone after five hours. My cast-iron casserole has a very tight lid so the sealing paste was not necessary.

Potato gratin

I find that this is a winner every time. In fact it doesn’t matter how large I make it – it is always finished off!

Pears baked as in Savoy

This is a good dish to serve whilst the oven is on for such a long time with the lamb. The recipe suggests 160degC for the pears and 120degC for the lamb. I think I would compromise on 140degC for both, and be prepared to raise the temperature for the final hour of the pears’ cooking time, after the lamb has been cooked.

These recipes are all available in the Cook’s Companion App or book. Simply use the handy search function in the App to find them by name or main ingredient.