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Being a big fan of the Sunday lunch, Roast immediately jumped out at me. It's the new book from the super-successful restaurant of the same name in Borough Market, London, with head chef Marcus Verberne. When you think about Borough market, you think fabulous ingredients, and this book certainly makes use of them. Having looked through the book, it has a lovely feel of eating off the land, there are some interesting stories about where their meat and produce comes from, so it's a bit more than just a cookery book, you feel like you have access to the inner workings of the Roast mantra.
Duck with blood orange sauce; Gamekeeper's terrine; the pork cutlets, for example. I soon realised, though, that these recipes are for the more experienced cook with a well-equipped kitchen, or a person with access to a great farmers' market as some of the ingredients are seasonal and unusual, so watch out for that. A game butcher would help, too. I think the book would definitely suit someone with a passion for cooking who wants to improve their skills and impress their friends.
Good book for experts
The recipes are sometimes vague in certain areasand the complex ones no good for a beginner. Reading them, I felt you had to have an instinct for cooking but, as Marcus says in his introduction, the recipes are only a guideline and he encourages you to play around. Saying that, there is a great section at the back for 'basics' – the cocktails, desserts and cakes look wonderful.
I initially chose the duck recipe but realised blood oranges aren't in season, and I didn't have the right dishes. The Lancashire hotpot better suited my kitchen and skills. The dish took pretty much all of Sunday to cook because I made the lamb stock from scratch as the recipe said it made all the difference.
My homemade lamb stock...
Once the stock was ready, the rest was pretty simple and after almost two hours it was done. I served it up with some extra carrots and leeks, and a glass of ale. I had a great sense of achievement at the end, and there were clean plates all round!
The finished hotpot!
Coat the meat with the flour in a plastic bag, so simple!