CHEF TONY SAYS: This is a classic lamb hotpot done the traditional way. So many lamb hotpots don’t hit the mark but this recipe is full of flavour. The secret is using chops that still have the fat on, a brilliant way of adding bags of taste to the dish.
Classic Lamb Hotpot
55g /2 oz beef dripping
8 middle neck lamb chops, on the bone
225g /½ lb onions, skinned and finely sliced
55g /2 oz butter, melted
450g /1lb potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
4 lamb kidneys, cored and sliced (optional)
1 carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme picked and chopped
1 litre/3 cups of beef or chicken stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
In a large frying pan, melt the dripping and heat until hot but not smoking. Quickly colour the chops on both sides, remove from the fat, and drain on kitchen paper.
Add the sliced onions to the hot fat and cook quickly, stirring constantly until softened but not coloured. Remove from the fat and drain on kitchen paper.
In a large oven-proof casserole dish, pour half the butter into the bottom then cover with a layer with half the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the chops on the top with the onion. If using, lay the sliced kidneys over the chops, add the carrot, cover with the remaining onions, season. Sprinkle the thyme over and place bay leaves in.
Pour in enough stock to come two thirds way up the casserole dish. Don’t worry if you have some left over, you can always top up during cooking. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
Cover with another layer of overlapping potatoes ensuring the surface is completely covered. Brush the potato with the remaining melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover the pot with a tightly-fitting lid and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 and cook for a further 1½ hours. Check from time to time to make sure the casserole isn’t drying out, top up with stock or water as necessary.
Remove the lid from the casserole and cook until the potatoes on the surface are brown. Remove from the oven and leave to rest about 10 minutes. Serve on hot plates with fresh, seasonal vegetables or pickled cabbage and crusty bread.
PROPER FOOD FOR PROPER APPETITES
Each week, discover recipes to nourish the soul, all compiled and concocted by Chef Tony, a gastronome with 15 years’ of experience cooking across the North West. Chef Tony has worked in some of the region’s best kitchens, including the award-winning Nutters in Rochdale and The Lowry at Salford Quays.