Lancashire Hot Pot and a veggie version
Lancashire Hot Pot
A great traditional British dish that uses the cheaper cuts of lamb is Lancashire Hot Pot. Forget fast food, this dish takes hours to cook but the result is by far the best lamb dish you will taste.
3lb of good floury potatoes
One and a half pounds of neck of lamb. The butcher will chop it up for you. It comes in neat little rings.
2 large Onions
Half a pound of lamb's kidneys. (Leave these out if you do not like kidneys.)
salt and pepper.
Flour to dust the lamb
Good stock, either meat or vegetable.
A little olive oil or cooking fat
Peel and slice the potatoes thinly into circles.
Either chop up the lamb into good sized pieces or leave them in the chunky rings from the butcher.
Roll the pieces of lamb in flour, coating them lightly. Fry them in oil in a hot pan to brown them.
Slice the onions.
Cut any bits of white membrane out of the lamb's kidney and discard.
Using a good deep oven proof dish, grease the bottom and sides to prevent the potatoes from sticking.
Start to layer the dish. First put a layer of potato slices on the bottom and up the sides.
Then add some onion, then some of the lamb and kidneys.
Season with salt and pepper.
Then add more potato, more onion and more lamb.
Season, then add another layer. Keep layering until all the ingredients are used up, seasoning each layer
The final layer is of potato. Now gently pour in the stock. Brush the top layer of potatoes with oil or cooking fat.
Cover the dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 200C or gas mark 6 for an hour then reduce the heat to gas mark 3, or 135C for a further three hours.
Take off the cover for the last half hour to brown the top. The meat will melt in your mouth and the gravy will be delicious, while the potatoes on the top will be golden brown and crunchy.
For our vegetarian friends
The vegetarian alternative to this is also delicious and is cooked in a shorter time period.
For the veggie version you'll need:
a few stalks of celery
a few cloves of garlic
Herbs to taste
A glass of sherry
salt and pepper.
Peeled potatoes, thinly sliced
A tin of plum tomatoes
Fry the onion and garlic in cooking oil to soften.
After a few minutes, lift out the tomatoes from the tin, leaving the
juice behind, and add them to the frying pan. Squash the tomatoes
down and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the tomato juice that's left in the can with hot
sauce, sugar and pepper and drink it! It's great!
Stir the mix occasionally. Now add the glass of sherry and boil gently, reducing the mixture a little.
Add the rest of the vegetables, leaving out the potatoes, and cook until they are soft.
Pour all this mixture into an oven proof dish. Pr-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180C.
Place the thinly sliced potatoes over the top of the mixture and season, then brush with oil.
Cook in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are done.
Lip smackingly good.