Our Best Easter Weekend Recipes

With the long Easter weekend fast approaching, we’ve compiled a selection of recipes perfect for the holiday. From classic hot cross buns to decadent lamb bon bons, a chocolate cocktail, and a beautiful monkfish recipe that’s an ideal alternative for Good Friday.

Monkfish Dashi from Mike Reid, Executive Chef of M Restaurants

Monkfish tail fillet, 720g (thin grey membrane rubbed off and cut into 4 equal pieces)

Baby carrots, 4, peeled and halved

Baby leeks, 4, trimmed

Baby radishes, 4, trimmed and quartered

Sugar snap peas, 8

Pak choi, 1, quartered

Furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning), 1tsp

For the Dashi

Black peppercorns, 6

Fresh red chillies, 4, deseeded and sliced

Lemongrass stalks, 2, bruised

Saffron threads, a pinch

Carrot, 1, peeled and thinly sliced

Celery, 1 stalk, finely chopped

Fennel, 1 head, trimmed and thinly sliced

Galangal, 1cm piece, peeled and chopped

Garlic, 1 clove, sliced

Leek, 1 (white part only), trimmed and thinly sliced

Onion, 1, thinly sliced

Water, 500ml

Dry white wine, 200ml

Oyster sauce, 3tbsp

Coriander, a bunch

Tarragon, a bunch


First make the dashi, which will keep in a covered container for up to three days in the fridge, or can be frozen for up to three months.

Put all the ingredients, except the coriander and tarragon, in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.

As soon as the liquid boils, add the fresh coriander and tarragon and remove the pan from the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for one hour.

Drain the dashi into another pan and discard the flavouring ingredients. When you’re ready to cook, return the dashi to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid just simmers.

Add the monkfish pieces and simmer for 8 minutes, or until they are tender and a toothpick slides in without any resistance. Immediately, transfer the monkfish to a platter and leave to rest while you poach the vegetables.

Add all the baby vegetables, sugar snap peas and pak choi to the pan, and return the liquid to the boil. Use a slotted spoon to remove the individual vegetables from the pan when they are tender.

To serve, place the monkfish fillets in 4 bowls, then add the poached vegetables and ladle over the boiling dashi, dividing it equally among the bowls. Sprinkle over the furikake and serve immediately.

This recipe is adapted from M: A 24 hour cookbook by Mike Reid, available now. Further information on M Restaurants and the book can be found at

Hot Cross Buns by The Gladwin Brothers

Strong bread flour, 1kg

Whole full fat milk, 575ml

Butter, 150g, softened

Sugar, 150g

Fast active yeast, 15g

Eggs, 4

Ground cinnamon, 20g

Ground cloves, 15g

Nutmeg, 15g

Salt, a pinch

Leave to add after proving

Orange, zest of 1

Soaked sultanas, 100g, soaked

Mixed peel, 100g

For the Cross

Flour, 100g

Baking powder, 5g

Oil, 5ml

Salt, 10g

Water, to make a thick paste


Make the enriched dough by adding all the dry ingredients into a kitchen aid.  Then add the eggs to the milk, and slowly incorporate the liquid into the dough. Leave to knead for 5 minutes. To stretch the gluten, add the soft butter until fully incorporated.  Put into a bowl cover with cling film and leave until it doubles in size.

Test the dough is ready by poking it, your finger should leave an indent which means the elasticity of the gluten in the dough, has been stretched by the carbon dioxide the yeast has created giving you the open crumb we all desire from good bread.

At this stage work the fruit into the dough, then make long sausages out of it then cut off 70g pieces. Role them into tight balls so they prove evenly. Put the buns on a baking tray make shore you leave space for the dough to rise.  Cover with a tea towel and leave for 45 minutes. To check if the dough is ready poke with you finger is the dough springs back leave a little longer.

With a sharp knife cut a cross on the top of the buns, leave for a further 5 minutes. Make a smooth paste, add the flour, baking powder, oil, salt, then add water until it’s a loose paste. Carefully pipe the paste into the groves of the crosses on the buns.

Put in a preheated oven at 170C. cook for 20 minutes.

When golden and cooked take them out of the oven and then glaze them with a jam of your choice. I make a clove based sugar syrup with golden syrup that always works well.

Best served with pashka.

Further information on the Gladwin Brothers can be found at


Spring Lamb Bon Bons from Steven Ellis, Chef Proprietor at The Oxford Blue

Veal stock, 2 litres

Chicken stock, 2 litres

Red wine, 750ml

Lamb belly, 1

Lamb neck, 1 (this can be obtained at any good quality butchers)

A small herb bag (2 juniper berries, 10 black peppercorns 1 bay leaf, 5 sprigs of thyme & 1 small piece rosemary)

Flour, 100g

Eggs, 3, beaten

Breadcrumbs, 500g

Mint, a small bunch, freshly chopped

Red wine vinegar, to season

Salt & freshly ground pepper

For the Mirepoix

Carrots, 2

Celery, 2 sticks

Onion, 1

Leek, 1

Garlic, a head


Brown off the mirepoix in a pan then deglaze with the wine. Reduce the wine by 2/3 then add the both stocks. Place the lamb belly and neck into the pan (making sure it is submerged). Bring the braise to a gentle simmer, then Place a lid and cook for 3 hours or until the meat is falling away from the bones. Set aside and leave to cool.

Once cooled remove the meat and pick down into small pieces. Pass off the liquid and reduce down to a thick glaze.

Once done in a large bowl place the picked meat, glaze and freshly chopped mint, mix well. Season with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. (the vinegar helps cut through the richness of the glaze). Ball the mixture into 10g portions

To coat the bon bons, place the seasoned flour in a bowl and set aside, repeat this process with both the beaten eggs and bread crumbs.

Flour all the balls then individually coat in the beaten egg and finish by rolling in the breadcrumbs.

Deep fry for 3 minutes at 180 degrees.

To serve, Steven suggests suggests a dijon mayonnaise “as it has the sharpness to cut through the rich flavours.”

Further information on The Oxford blue can be found at

Bluebird’s Egg Chocolate Cocktail

40ml Tanqueray gin
20ml peach liqueur
20ml lemon juice
10ml caramel syrup
20ml chocolate sauce
20ml pasteurised egg white
3ml cherry bitters

To Garnish

Fresh raspberry


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.

Shake and serve with one fresh raspberry for garnish.

Further information on Bluebird can be found at

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