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    Lamb Hotpots

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    Lamb Hotpots

    riginating from Lancashire in the 19th century, these are humble but heart-warming pies. 

    • Preparation time: 55 minutes
    • Cooking time: 2 hours 50 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes

    Makes: 6-8

    Ingredients

    1.25kg British lamb neck fillet, trimmed of excess fat and sinew and cut into 3-4cm chunks
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    4 onions, sliced
    60g unsalted butter
    3 carrots, cut into 2cm chunks
    3 tbsp plain flour
    4 bay leaves
    ½ x 20g pack thyme, leaves picked, plus 6-8 extra sprigs
    6 lambs’ kidneys (optional) halved, white core removed, cut into 2 cm chunks and soaked in milk overnight
    500ml fresh chicken or lamb stock
    1.5kg maris piper or other floury potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 

    Method

    1 Pat the lamb chunks dry on kitchen paper, coat in the oil and season. Heat a large casserole or heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat and fry (in batches if necessary), turning until browned, for about 10-12 minutes; set aside.

    2 Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Add the onions to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 30g butter and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until soft and starting to caramelise. Toss in the carrots, lamb and resting juices, flour, bay and thyme leaves and kidneys (if using). Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer briskly for 5 minutes, scraping the base of the pan to incorporate any sticky bits. Season and set aside.

    3 Cover the bases of your dishes (use earthenware pie dishes or foil containers) with a layer of sliced potato. Next, divide the lamb mixture between them and top with the remaining potato; you want at least a double layer on top of each. Melt the remaining 30g butter and brush over the potato.

    4 Cover each dish tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, until a small knife is easily inserted. Uncover, add a picked thyme sprig to each and cook for a final 45-55 minutes, until golden. Serve, with pickled beetroot or red cabbage and some steamed greens, if liked. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Food app edition for FREE. Find out more.

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