Adapted from an old family recipe, my easy peasy take on a Lancashire lamb hotpot can be done in one pot and only uses 5 ingredients…the perfect way to celebrate #LoveLambWeek.
So this week is #LoveLambWeek – a week which highlights what a delicious and versatile meat lamb is and encourages us all to eat it a bit more often to support our farmers and this brilliantly sustainable industry. You can find out more by following #LoveLambWeek on social media and if you cook up a lovely lamb recipe this week, do share it on social media with the #LoveLambWeek hashtag – if you copy me in on Twitter (I’m @easypeasyfoodie) I’ll most definitely retweet it!
As you know I am hugely passionate about lamb and just love cooking easy peasy meals with this fab meat. I have been working all year with the folk at the ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ campaign and when they challenged me to make a lamb dish for Love Lamb Week using just 5 ingredients – I knew just what to make!
Recently Jamie Oliver has been championing his latest book “5 Ingredients” (so my kind of book!) and in it he shares his recipe for 5 ingredient Lamb Hotpot – and well it reminded me that I just so happen to have my own recipe for a 5 ingredient lamb hotpot….though admittedly mine is totally different from Jamie’s recipe – as mine is as traditional as they come…
Handed down from my Lancashire great grandma (who sadly I never got to meet), to my grandma and then to my mum and finally to me, this is a pretty authentic Lancashire hotpot recipe – my Lancashire forebears would certainly not have been putting umami paste in their hotpot (as Jamie does), but I can guarantee this hotpot is still fabulously tasty – the meltingly tender lamb and crispy, lamb flavoured potatoes are too die for!
In fact my Lancashire lamb hotpot comes with a lovely story attached: apparently in days gone by, the various members of the family might come home at different times…the hotpot would go into the oven in the morning and then, as the family returned for their dinner, they would help themselves to some hotpot, add a bit more water and return it to the oven to cook on a low heat until the next person came in – what a genius way to solve the problem of different family members eating at different times!
The 5 ingredients in this Easy Lamb Hotpot are simply onions, carrots, lamb, lamb stock and potatoes – all good traditional British ingredients, which when put together produces the most fabulous dish (well OK plus a little oil, salt and pepper, but they don’t really count do they?). If you want to get a bit more fancy (and I often do), you can also add in some swede and some herbs (bay and thyme work really well) – but this is strictly optional.
The trick to making a good lamb hotpot is to ensure the lamb and potatoes are cooked to perfection – the lamb needs a good slow cook to get it really tender and to ensure the potatoes are cooked through properly I cover the dish with a lid to begin with (the steam helps the potatoes cook), and then for the last half an hour, I turn up the oven and uncover the potatoes to ensure they are super brown and crispy on top.
I prefer to use a wide, shallow dish to make my hotpot – this means you get a really good ratio of potato to lamb and the top gets really crispy. However if you want to double the quantities below, and therefore need a deeper pan, I suggest you put a layer of potatoes halfway up as well as on top – this ensures everyone gets a good amount of potatoes, but the layer on top cooks well and isn’t too thick.
And just a quick note on cutting the potatoes – there is absolutely no need for a mandolin or food processor to cut these potatoes finely (another thing my ancestors wouldn’t have had!) – in fact, if you follow the recipe below, you really don’t need to cut them all that finely – I find a thickness of roughly 3mm to be about right, but it doesn’t need to be perfect – quite a few of mine ended up thicker or thinner in the one I made for the photos and all the potatoes were cooked just perfectly!
To make this hotpot super duper easy, I’ve adapted the recipe so you can make this all in one pot. So long as you have a wide, shallow casserole that can go on the hob (I have a lovely cast iron pot which is just perfect for this kind of thing), or a similar shaped saucepan that can go in the oven, you can cook everything in the same pot – start it off on the hob and then pop it straight into the oven. If you don’t have a suitable cast iron pot/oven proof saucepan, then simply start this in a saucepan or frying pan on the hob and then transfer to an ovenproof dish for the oven part.
Easy Lamb Hotpot
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 large carrots cut into bitesize pieces
- 600 g diced lamb leg
- 500 ml lamb stock from a cube is fine
- 3 large potatoes (roughly 500g / 1lb), cut into 3mm slices
- Plus a little oil, salt and pepper
- Vegetables to serve optional
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350F.
- In a large ovenproof pan (or hobproof casserole dish), add a little oil plus the onion and carrot. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes or until soft but not brown.
- Turn the heat up and add the lamb, cook for 2-3 minutes until nicely browned. Add the lamb stock, plus a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat off and arrange the potato slices on the top so they slightly overlap. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper then cover the pan with a lid (or foil) and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour turn the oven up to 220C / 200C / gas mark 7 / 425F and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the top is brown and the potatoes are completely cooked.
- Serve just as it is or with extra vegetables.
This is a collaborative post with the ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ campaign. ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ is an EU funded campaign which aims to increase the use of lamb in everyday cooking. Lamb is often considered difficult to cook, expensive, or something to be saved for Sunday roasts. The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate just how tasty, easy and fun lamb is to cook with every day of the week! They also have a wonderful website, full of tasty and easy lamb recipes that go way beyond the traditional roast lamb we all know and love.
Want more delicious lamb recipes? Find more here…
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