Damien Ng, Head Chef at Lancaster House Hotel shares his own take on a classic Lancashire recipe
Now Christmas has been and gone, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring, and the lush green colours returning to our countryside. We will soon be finding a new abundance of great seasonal produce on on the shelves of our local food shops. Of course, one cannot think of springtime without mentioning Lamb, and here in Lancashire, we’re blessed with an ample, quality supply right on our doorstep. From the Trough of Bowland to the Salt Marshes of Morecambe Bay.
So, with that in mind, and on the basis we can probably still expect a few chilly weeks ahead before spring finally blooms, here’s a simple, warming, easy to prepare take on a Lancashire favourite. And as this is a slow-cooking dish, there’s no need to be buying some of the more traditional expensive cuts of Lamb we often find in the supermarkets. Ask your butcher about the various options he can give you. May I also recommend a nice Spanish Rioja or Navarra to wash this down a treat. Alternatively, if beer’s more your thing, a nice bottle of our local “Lancaster Red” also works for me.
Lancashire Lamb Hot Pot
Ingredients (serves 4)
- Dice the Carrots, Swede and Onion (1cm cubes) and place into a thick-based, oven-proof Pan
- Add the diced Lamb, Mint Sauce, Red Wine and the Bay Leaves
Now add just enough water to cover all the ingredients. Put the pan on the heat and bring it to the boil
Once the pan has started to boil, turn the heat right down and let it simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is nice and tender. Plenty of time now to be thinking about the the potatoes (Stage 6)
With the meat tender, you can now thicken that beautiful sauce with gravy granules. Be careful not to thicken it too much as the pan still needs to go in the oven. Remove the Bay Leaves if you can find them, but don’t worry if you can’t. Also, time now to add some seasoning to your own taste. Stir it in well.
With the pan simmering nicely away and the aromas wafting through the house, you can now prepare the spuds. Wash & Peel your potatoes, then cut them into slices no thicker than 1cm.
Part-boil the potato slices in a pan of slightly salted water for just a few minutes, quickly remove from the heat and then refresh them in cold water.
Now place the potato slices carefully on top of the nicely thickened lamb. Be creative if you want and slightly “overlap” them. Once covering the entire pan surface, brush the potatoes with the melted butter.
Now pop the whole pan into a pre-heated oven and wait for the potatoes to turn a nice golden brown on top. Your Hot Pot is now ready to enjoy!
Serve with some Pickled Red Cabbage. most varieties in glass Jars are excellent, and don’t forget some nice, crusty bread to mop up all those lovely juices.