How To Make Lancashire Hot Pot In The Simmering Oven Of An Aga Range Cooker
"There is much debate surrounding the ingredients and method for making a ‘true’ Lancashire hotpot. Being a Gloucestershire girl, I make no claims of authenticity but I can assure you that my recipe is simple to prepare and absolutely delicious!" Antonia
Traditionally, this should be made with meat on the bone and if you can find lamb neck chops, then do use these instead of the diced neck meat. You can also add lamb kidneys too, if you like them, for a richer flavour.
This dish really benefits from long, slow cooking in the simmering oven – although it takes a long time to cook, it is quick to put together. It is a great ‘make-ahead’ dish - put it together at lunchtime and by the evening, you have a lovely, comforting meal ready to go!
Serves 4(hungry tummies)
You may need...
- Olive oil
- 800g lamb neck, diced
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
- 2 onions
- 2 large carrots
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 500ml lamb stock
- 600g floury potatoes (e.g. Maris Piper)*
- Knob of butter
Right, lets get cooking!
- Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan on the floor of the roasting oven. Meanwhile, coat the diced lamb in the seasoned flour. Once the oil is hot, brown the meat in batches and set to one side in a bowl.
- While the meat is browning, prepare the vegetables. Slice the onions and cut the carrots into chunky pieces. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes (approximately 3mm thick).
- Once the meat is brown, move the hot pan to the simmering plate and pour a little of the stock into the pan to deglaze, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom. Pour this over the meat.
- Lightly butter a medium-sized casserole dish and place a layer of over-lapping potato slices on the base. Layer the meat, onions and carrots over the potato base, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Nestle the thyme and bay leaf amongst the meat and vegetables. Top with a layer of potato slices. Pour the stock over the top – it should come up to a level just under the potatoes.
- Dot the top of the potatoes with a little butter. Place the casserole briefly onto the boiling plate until the liquid is bubbling. Put the lid on the dish and transfer to the middle of the simmering oven for 4-5 hours.
- Half an hour before you wish to eat, remove the lid from the casserole and transfer to the roasting oven to brown for 30 minutes. Once the top is crisp and bronzed, serve the hotpot with some green vegetables.
Antonia's tips for cooking this in your Aga range cooker -
"I always use the floor of the roasting oven to brown meat for casseroles. Think of it as a third hotplate! Using the oven rather than the hotplate, prevents heat loss caused by having the lids open. Even if you have a dual, Electrikit, or total-control Aga range cooker, cooking in the oven prevents splashes on the enamel and keeps cooking smells inside the oven (which means you won’t need to move the pile of clothes‘ironing’ on top of the Aga)! Remember to open the door every now and again, to give the meat a quick stir to prevent burning." Antonia
Note - The quantity of potatoes will depend on the size of your dish. I used three large potatoes.
This nourishing recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds.