There are various versions of Lancashire hotpot, which would traditionally have been made with mutton, not lamb. Cuts such as the neck, either as a fillet or chops, are best suited to hotpot. Kidneys and even black pudding have traditionally been added along with the potatoes and onions. Back in the days when they were cheap, a few oysters would be put under the potato.
- 800g mutton neck chops
- 6 kidneys, halved (optional)
- Flour for dusting
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 60g unsalted butter plus a little extra for brushing
- 500-550g onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1tsp chopped rosemary leaves
- 800ml lamb or beef stock (a good quality cube will do)
- 500g large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 500g large turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Season the pieces of mutton and kidneys separately with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil and brown the chops on both sides on a high heat. Then drain in a colander. Fry and drain the kidneys afterwards, and set aside, mixed with the chops. Clean the pan and heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Fry the onions on a high heat until they begin to colour, add the butter and continue to cook for a few minutes until they soften. Dust the onions with a tablespoon of flour, stir well and gradually add the stock, stirring to avoid lumps, and sprinkle in the rosemary. Bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Now assemble the dish. Take an oven-proof casserole dish with a lid or similar, cover the bottom with a layer of potatoes and turnip first, followed by some of the meat with a little of the sauce, then the potatoes and turnips again. Continue until the meat and sauce has all been used. Finish the top with a layer of nicely overlapping potato slices. Brush the top with a little of the sauce, cover with the lid and cook in the oven for about half an hour at 220C/gas mark 7, and then turn the oven down to 140C/gas mark 1 and leave for 2 hours.
Then remove the lid and turn the oven back up to 220C/gas mark 7. Brush the top with a little melted butter to allow the potatoes to brown for the final few minutes.