Posts Tagged ‘lamb stew’

Hold tight lad, and think of Lancashire hotpot!

Wallace & Gromit, A Grand Day Out

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Chef Rick Stein showcased this dish on his Food Heroes programme, and it was so appealing in its simplicity and “Wallace-&-Gromitness” that I raced out to the butchers the same day to buy ingredients.  Pete normally has an aversion to hotpots, particularly ones with boney pieces of meat – a consequence of growing up on what he and his siblings refer to as “mystery meat stews”.  Nevertheless, he loved this dish, as did the boys, both of whom had second helpings.

Rick Stein didn’t provide quantities on his show,  so I had to make them up on the fly.  Having said that, I think the essence of this style of cooking is to make use of the ingredients you have on hand. I’m sure all sorts of cheaper cuts and offal would traditionally have been used, and allowed to tenderise during the long cooking time. This recipe makes a very big batch, so count on feeding the neighbours, like we did!

  • 1kg lamb shanks, cut into pieces (ask the butcher to do this for you)
  • 1kg lamb loin chops
  • lots of onions
  • lots of potatoes
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • salt, pepper
  • oregano
  • melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 180C with fan.  Trim and discard the surplus fat from the loin chops.

2. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and onions.  The onions give the dish sweetness, so don’t skimp on them.

3. Brush melted butter over the base of a large casserole dish (I used a Le Creuset dutch oven) and arrange a layer of sliced potatoes.  Top with a layer of lamb (both shank pieces and loin chops), then a layer of onions.  Season well between layers with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of oregano (original recipe used thyme, but I didn’t have any).

4. Layer more potato slices, then more lamb and onions, season again and repeat until all the ingredients have been added, finishing with a layer of potatoes.  Pour over the chicken stock, then brush the top of the potatoes with melted butter.  Cover and bake for 2 – 2¼ hours, removing the lid for the last 20 minutes to allow the potatoes to brown.

We served our hotpot with steamed rice, but Rick Stein served it with braised red cabbage, which has apparently become its traditional accompaniment in recent years.  Perfect comfort food!

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