This modern version of the popular favourite, Lancashire hot-pot, is still slow-cooked for maximum flavour, but is lighter, using lean lamb neck fillet and more vegetables than the original recipe. If you like, sprinkle the top with a little cheddar cheese at the end of cooking.
500 g lean lamb neck fillet, trimmed of all excess fat, then sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
250 g button mushrooms, halved
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
500 g new potatoes, scrubbed and thickly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 ml diluted salt-reduced or homemade beef or chicken stock, hot
50 g cheddar cheese, crumbled (optional)
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Preheat the oven to 180°C. Toss the lamb pieces together with the garlic and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
Spread a layer of onion, leeks and carrots in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with a layer of meat and mushrooms and season lightly, then repeat the layers until the ingredients are all used up.
Make a bouquet garni by tying together the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary with kitchen string. Tuck it into the centre of the casserole. Top with a thick layer of overlapping potato slices.
Mix the tomato paste into the hot stock and pour the mixture over the potatoes. Cover tightly with a lid and bake for 1½ hours or until the meat and potatoes are tender.
Remove the lid and sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the potatoes, if using. Increase the oven temperature to 230°C and bake, uncovered, for a further 25–30 minutes until golden.
You can prepare the hot-pot ahead of time up until the end of step 4 and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight, if more convenient.
Instead of sliced potatoes, top the hot-pot with a layer of coarsely grated potato, or mix potato half-and-half with grated parsnips. Bake in the same way as in the main recipe, topping with parmesan cheese if you like.
I turned the temp down to 160 and cooked for a little longer. I also have a vegetarian in the family so I did a separate dish exactly the same but using chick peas instead of lamb - both dishes very yummy. - 13 Sep 2013