Some people might say that a hotpot with crisp potatoes on top is actually called a Lancashire hotpot but rather than get into a debate about names and what a true Lancashire hotpot should consist of I’ve decided to play it safe and call this adaptation a plain old Lamb Hotpot. There isn’t actually anything ‘plain’ about this hotpot, it’s warming, delicious and one of those dishes that you have to have just one more spoonful of. The quantities should serve 4 but in my house you are lucky if there is a mouthful left over from two people eating it. I teamed this particular hotpot with a seeded loaf.
To make this seeded loaf you will need:
500g mixed grain flour (I like the Wessex Mill flour)
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 sachet fast-action yeast
1 tsp salt
300ml hand-hot water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp runny honey
Heat oven to 180C
Put the flour, seeds, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Mix the water, oil and honey together in a jug, then pour into the flour mix stirring all the time to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour as you need it.
flour a loaf tin and put the dough in the tin, pressing it in evenly. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hr, until it springs back when you press it with your finger.
Bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf is risen and brown. Pop it onto a cooling rack and leave to cool before smothering with butter.
To make the Lamb Hotpot you will need:
900g lamb, cut into large chunks
2 medium onions, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
handful of frozen peas
25g plain flour
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
500ml lamb stock
2 bay leaves
900g potatoes, peeled and sliced
Heat oven to 160C
Heat some butter in a large shallow casserole dish, brown the lamb in batches. In the same pan fry the onions and carrots until golden.
Sprinkle over the flour and allow to cook for a couple of mins, shake over the Worcestershire sauce and pour in the stock, then bring to the boil.
Turn off the heat and add the meat and bay leaves to the pan. Arrange the sliced potatoes on top of the meat, then dot with a little more butter. Cover with a tight fitting lid, then place in the oven for about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are cooked.
Remove the lid for the last 20 mins to brown the potatoes.