Emma C’s Lancashire Hotpot

When I asked fitnaturally’s Facebook followers for their signature recipes I got so much great stuff that it was hard choosing just three or four.

This is Emma Copson’s Lancashire Hotpot. Gorgeous comfort food that’s worth spending a bit of time on.
Serves: 3-4 • Prep: 15 mins • Cook: 2 hrs • Easy 
  • 500g of diced lamb (or mutton if you can find it) preferably neck, but ideally a cheap cut
  • lambs kidneys (entirely optional 1 per person)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 large carrot either finely diced or grated (we cheat and use Aunt Bessies carrot and swede mash straight from the freezer and it works a treat)
  • 1½ pints of water with a squeeze of marmite (but if you can sweet talk your butcher into handing over lamb bones and make stock even better!)
  • a bouquet garni made from a big lump of fresh thyme and two bay leaves tied together
  • couple of cloves of garlic mashed or finely chopped
  • about 3-4 potatoes depending on size very finely sliced, a mandolin works well or the slicing attachment on a food processor
Two quick things about this recipe. Firstly it loves being cooked in a pressure cooker, it produces fantastic results. Secondly, if you can make the stew part the day before or put in a slow cooker and add the potatoes later, this also works really well. If you make it a day in advance you get the opportunity to skim off any excess fat too.

Heat up either your pressure cooker, or a large casserole.

In a frying pan brown off the pieces of lamb. Take your time and don’t over crowd the pan. They need to sizzle not sweat. Add to casserole dish or pressure cooker.

Give the kidneys (if using) a flash around the pan, add these to the casserole/pressure cooker too.

Add the onion to the frying pan and turn the heat down. They will sweat and help deglaze any nice lamb bits. Add the carrot (or carrot and swede mash) and garlic. When they are all soft, add these to the casserole/pressure cooker too.

Deglaze the pan with your water/marmite solution or lamb stock and add this to the casserole.

Salt and pepper the mixture, but go easy on the salt if you are using marmite (umami paste also works well). Your liquid should cover the meat, if not top up with water and add your bouquet garni.

If using a casserole dish, it helps to make a cartouche from baking parchment to place over the top. Don’t worry if you are using a pressure cooker or slow cooker.

Cook slowly in the casserole, at least 1½-2 hrs at about 160°C. If you are using a pressure cooker, this should only take about half an hour, but the liquid may need reducing at the end.

After this time, leave it to cool slightly (or overnight if you are serving the next day). If you have used a casserole, simply place the potatoes on the top, like roof slates, dot with butter and return to the oven for ½ hr.

If you are using a pressure cooker, you need to transfer the stew into another dish and follow the same potato instructions above. As in the picture, I like making individual portions for people to eat out of directly. My kids like having their own too.

Serve with pickled cabbage.

Sally: Wow thanks Emma! *faints* *Googles ‘cartouche’*
Nutrition info
Lamb is rich in the amino acid Glutamic Acid which is an abundant and critical neurotransmitter it has even been implicated in the treatment of diseases such as muscular dystrophy. It's also rich in iron and vitamin B12 for healthy blood cells. Additionally it's a great source of Omega 3 fatty acid to help create the essential balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 which tends to be out of sync in the typical western diet.

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Food is the most primitive form of comfort.
Sheilah Graham
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