Having seen some good looking, cheap, lamb neck chops in my local 24 hour butcher on Friday night, and the cold weather really suggesting good, traditional, comfort food, I decided on making my first Lancashire Hotpot. I could think of nothing better to have after an afternoon and early evening of watching international rugby.
This is definitely a satisfying, and pretty cheap dish to prepare, especially for those who are feeling the credit crunch. As I discovered, lamb neck is about half the cost of some other cuts, and having seen it as the ingredient of choice when looking at Lancashire Hotpot recipes in the past, I put off making it no longer.
Most recipes I’ve seen for Lancashire Hotpot include Lamb Kidneys in the ingredients. There are a few ingredients that readers are unlikely to see included in recipes on this site, and Kidneys are one of them, but feel free to add a few yourself if you are partial to them. I’d actually meant to get some black pudding to substitute for the Kidneys, but, as with most of my cooking experiences, this was the ingredient which got away. Cooking for me is a bit like any mechanical task in that there’s always a spare washer/screw/ingredient, left over when I’m finished. But then, if the car still runs/computer hasn’t blown up/food tastes fine, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Carrots definitely seemed an optional inclusion too, although as we had some to go with it anyway, and they helped fill in a few gabs in the layers, I thought it was worth sticking a few in.
Lancashire Hotpot Recipe (serves 4)
- 8 Lamb Neck Chops (about a kilo)
- 2 Large Onions, chopped
- 1 kilo King Edward Potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)
- A handful of Chantaney Carrots (optional)
- A small glass of Red Wine
- A few sprigs of Fresh Thyme and Rosemary (leaves only, finely chopped)
- 1 Pint of Lamb Stock
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Plain Flour
- 30g Butter
First, season the Flour in a bowl with Salt and Pepper, then mix the Lamb Neck Chops in the Flour to give it a light coating. Heat up a little of the butter in a pan with a little vegetable oil, and lightly brown each piece of Lamb and set aside. If you are using Kidneys or Black Pudding, you should lightly brown these now as well and set aside. Next add the Onions, adding a little more Butter if the pan is becoming dry, and cook these for about 5 minutes to soften. Then add the fresh Herbs and the Wine, and reduce until it becomes a bit syrupy. Pour in the Stock, season with Salt and Pepper as necessary and bring to the boil.
Now, lightly grease the pan or deep casserole you are going to make the hotpot in. Put a lining of Potato slices at the bottom of the pan, then a layer of 4 overlapping Lamb Chops, maybe a few Carrot pieces and onions from the stock. Add another layer of Potato slices, with the remaining Chops on top, a few Carrots, etc, then, pour the stock over the top. Melt the remaining Butter in a small pan, and use it to brush over and between the last layers of sliced Potato which top the hotpot.
Cover, and put in a 170 degree Celsius oven for about one and a half hours. After this time, uncover the pan, brush a little more melted butter over the top, then cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until the top is golden. Serve with some seasonal vegetables of your choice.