Friday, January 14, 2011

Lancashire Hot Pot

Lancashire hot pot is really just the English version of Irish stew, the difference being that the hot pot ingredients are layered and baked in a casserole, while the stew is cooked on top of the stove. I brought home a semi-boneless leg of lamb last week with the intention of cubing most of it for kebabs. Some of the pieces were irregular and didn't lend themselves to skewering, so I decided to make this ( My mom made this often). A lot of recipes call for just lamb, potatoes and onions, but I remember having it with carrots and mushrooms. I took the lamb bone and roasted it for about 45 minutes and then simmered it in water with bay leaves and made a little lamb stock.  If you don't have lamb stock, substitute beef broth or bouillon. If you don't have a leg or shoulder roast to cube, you can use lamb shoulder chops.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs lamb, cubed
2 Tbl olive oil
3 carrots, cut on the diagonal into one inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, halved
3 - 4 medium potatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup beef or lamb broth
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
Wondra flour ( or a slurry made with flour and water)
salt and pepper
2 Tbl butter

In a large pan, brown the lamb pieces in the olive oil and then remove
Add the carrots in the same pan and cook just until they start to brown
Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute until the onions soften a bit
Parboil the potato slices for about 5 minutes and drain
In a saucepan, heat the 2 broths together until boiling and then sprinkle in enough Wondra flour  to thicken, whisking constantly.  Off the heat stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
Layer the meat in the bottom of a 3 qt. casserole and generously salt and pepper
Layer the carrot, onion, mushroom mixture on top and season again
Cover with the potatoes, season and pour the gravy mixture over the top( you may not want to use all of the gravy) Dot with the butter
Bake covered for about 45 minutes at 350F and then for another 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered

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