Prep 35 mins
Cook 3 hrs
May take a bit longer to put together, but it's worth it :-)
For the Hot Pot
- 2 kg potatoes
- 3 large onions
- 1 kg lamb (Neck, shoulder or chops can all be used)
- chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)
For the stock
- lamb bones or beef bone
- 2 large carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 bay leaves
- salt & pepper
- 4 pints water
- You can just buy some stock from the supermarket if you want, but this way is more satisfying and it makes the kitchen, nay, the whole house, smell gorgeous!
- Chuck the bones on a roasting tray and place in an oven at gas 6 for one hour. Roughly chop the veg, bash the garlic and add the bay leaves and rosemary to a large casserole dish or pan.
- When the bones have roasted for an hour, drain off the fat and add the bones to the casserole dish. Cover with water and place on the heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and leave for at least one hour. Leave for longer for a better flavour. I recommend at least two hours, three if you can.
- Remove the bones and sieve the stock into a large jug. For extra flavour let the softened veg fall into the sieve and go at them with a potato masher so squeeze out all the juices and flavour.
- Put the stock in the fridge or freezer to cool so the fat in the stock forms a solid crust on the surface. Much easier to remove it this way than skimming it when still in little globules floating on the surface.
- Hot Pot:.
- Take a bowl and add about 250g of plain flour. Doesn’t matter how much really as it’s just to coat the meat. Season it well with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Coat the lamb in the flour mixture and brown quickly in a very hot pan. Does this in batches. Adding load of meat to a pan will just reduce the heat and you’ll and up with a mess in the pan. This isn’t just about sealing the meat. You want to get a nice golden colour on it for look and flavour.
- Peel and slice the onions (Don’t dice or finely chop) and sweat in butter on a low heat for around 20/30 minutes until they start to darken in colour. Set to one side.
- Peel and slice the spuds. You’re looking for something between ½ and 1 cm slices.
- Assemble in a large casserole dish in layers. Meat / Onions / Potato and repeat until the dish is full. If using chops you want about four per layer, depending on how many you’re feeding. Go the extra mile and arrange the last layer of potato in overlapping concentric circles. It’s worth.
- it for the look of the thing when you bring it to the table to serve.
- When done, peel the layer of now solid fat from the stock and pour a couple of pints over the hot pot, put the lid on and cook in a low oven (gas 3 or 4) for at least 3 hours. For a better flavour, cook for longer, but check that you’re not evaporating all the stock. You should have.
- additional stock to top up if you find it getting low (Check using a skewer).
- Finally, just before serving, melt some butter in a saucepan and brush over the top layer of spuds. Place under a hot grill or back in the oven on a high heat to get a really nice golden colour. Sprinkle with some of the chopped parsley and serve in large bowls with fresh crusty.
- bread and red cabbage if you like it.