Fantastic festive recipes to try at home

Chief Culinary Officer and Michelin dining expert, Michael Ellis, shares his favourite recipes to enjoy at home over the festive season


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I have made this lamb dish often, and although it takes all day for the cooking, the preparation is easy and the result is well worth it. I hope you enjoy making this flavoursome meal at home - these recipes were made for sharing and are both straightforward, yet they yield wonderful rewards and will add a festive touch to your annual get-togethers.


For your main course, try a slow roasted, spiced leg of lamb to share with friends or family.


  • 1 leg of lamb, about 2.5 kilos for 6 to 8 persons

For the spice marinade:

  • 15 cl of olive oil
  • 10 cl of soy sauce
  • 5 cl of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of French Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Cayenne pepper or dried chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika (or normal paprika if smoked is not available)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic


  1. Mix all of the spice marinade ingredients together until well blended. Place the leg of lamb into a dish or large plate and coat with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours, preferably 12 or more hours, to allow the flavours to really soak in.

  2. Remove the leg of lamb from the marinade, and sear all sides of the lamb in a hot skillet, browning the outside as much as possible, it should take 5 minutes or so.

  3. Heat the oven to 120 degrees centigrade.

  4. Place the leg of lamb in a large cooking dish or casserole.

  5. Using a few tablespoons of water, dilute the remaining marinade and spread over the lamb, leaving the remaining marinade in the cooking casserole with the lamb.

  6. Cook the lamb at 120 degrees centigrade for 7 hours, turning over once an hour for the first 4 hours, and basting regularly with the marinade. Add a small splash of water if the marinade becomes dry in the casserole.

  7. After 7 hours, remove the lamb and let it sit for 15 minutes.

  8. Carve the lamb either directly in the casserole or on a cutting board, serving the remaining marinade on the side as a sauce.

  9. Serve with green beans, pasta, or sauteed potatoes.


For something sweet, enjoy a classic French pan-baked dessert with Clafoutis and Blackberries or cherries


  • 350 grams of whole blackberries or pitted fresh cherries
  • 4 large eggs
  • 130 grams (210 ml) of white flour
  • 100 grams (120 ml) of sugar, unrefined or brown if available
  • 40 cl of whole milk
  • 30 grams of melted butter
  • 250 cl of French crème fraîche for garnish or fresh heavy cream


  1. Take a non-stick baking pan, this can be round or rectangular, and butter the interior and sides to ensure easy removal after baking.

  2. Using a whisk, slowly blend the eggs, sugar and melted butter until the sugar has dissolved.

  3. Using a sieve, sprinkle the white flour slowly into the egg mixture, blending to avoid lumps. 

  4. Once the flour is blended, you can pour the mixture through the sieve to remove any lumps.

  5. Place the fruit, evenly distributed, in the baking pan and pour the egg mixture over the fruit.

  6. Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes, checking regularly to make sure the mixture doesn’t start to burn.

  7. When golden brown on top, remove the pan and let it sit for 30 minutes or so.

  8. Serve warm, garnished with the crème fraîche or fresh cream.

If you’re considering a festive family holiday, get in touch with our reservations team at Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.