Lancashire hotpot is a traditional British stew. This is my version (not traditional, so I've just called it a hotpot).
lamb per person
potato per person
oil for frying
glass of cooking sherry
knife and board for chopping
spoon for stirring
time in oven: 2 hours or more
preparing and frying vegetables
Like most casseroles, the amounts of ingredients are up to you.
This is a minimal recipe. At the end, I suggest some additional or substitute ingredients.
- Put a little oil in the frying pan for frying. Peel and chop the and fry it for a bit.
- You can use for this recipe. It doesn't matter if the meat is a bit fatty. Cut the meat into chunks. If the pan is very dry (it shouldn't be), add more oil. Add the lamb into the pan with the onions, and fry for a bit.
- Add some frozen peas.
- You may wish to add some other ingredients (see below).
- Put the contents of the frying pan into your casserole.
- the frying pan by adding some to dissolve the stuff left over from frying on the bottom of the pan.
- Carefully pour the result into the casserole dish. Add some water until the liquid covers the lamb.
- Peel some and slice thinly. You may find this easier if you cut the potato in half and put the flat side downwards. Put layers of potato on top of the other ingredients.
- Put the lid on, and put the casserole dish in the oven. During cooking, you may need to check on the liquid level during cooking. Top up the level with water if necessary. Cook for about an hour. This is to cook the potatoes so they don't get dried up. Then remove the lid and cook for another hour. This is to brown the potatoes. If they aren't brown enough by the end, turn the heat up a bit and cook some more.
- At the end of cooking time, it's ready to eat. With potato and vegetables in the hotpot, it should be enough by itself.
Some of the following ingredients are traditional and some are possible variations. The recipe above creates a meal with plenty of taste and not too many ingredients. You can try adding some of the below for authenticity, or variation, or personal taste.
- A traditional hotpot is made with just water. I find this rather boring, so I add some sherry. You can add any other form of alcohol or , if you want. The reason why I use sherry in this recipe is that I try to get my recipes to have different tastes, and using different types of alcohol is one way to achieve this.
- A traditional hotpot also doesn't fry the meat or vegetables, which makes it rather colourless (and sometimes tasteless as well).
- A traditional ingredient to hotpot is lentils and pearl barley. There is a certain amount of customer resistance in my family to these ingredients, so I use frozen peas instead. You can leave these out if you want. But you need some vegetables, perhaps some , or . Since this is a British recipe, I don't think you should have anything too exotic! But it's up to you.
- You can add if you want.
- You can add some herbs. Rosemary is supposed to go with lamb. Thyme or parsley are used in British cooking. Or you can just use Mixed herbs (as I have above - they were with the meat but some seems to have ended up on top of the potatoes).
- The point of a hotpot is that the fat in the meat (or that you have used for frying) gets absorbed by the potatoes, which then brown. However, this takes time, and if you leave the casserole lid off to start with, the potatoes dry up and go grey before cooking and absorbing the fat. Some people suggest that you dot the potatoes with fat (such as butter). I don't find this necessary. use the lid for the first hour of cooking and the potatoes will be cooked and damp, but still white. Then take the lid off, and the potatoes will brown.
© Jo Edkins 2007 -