I got the inspiration for this dish from a Masterclass on Australian Masterchef 2014. The flavours and ingredients of this meal are so delicious and comforting that it will thaw your body without a doubt! The Lancashire Hotpot is traditionally made with lamb chops and kidneys, but I am really not keen on organ meat, so instead of kidneys, I used mushrooms. I find that mushrooms when tender have a similar spongy texture to smooth muscle meats.
- 100g butter
- lamb chops (I used braai chops – which are larger, flatter grilling chops with a big piece of fat along the side – ration about 2 chops per person)
- 1 punnet large brown mushrooms (or portabellini), cut in thick slices
- 1 and 1/2 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 250ml lamb stock
- 2 tbsp mutton and veg soup powder (I used Knorr brand) dissolved in 250ml hot water (if you can’t find this or similar, you can use mushroom soup powder)
- 2 bay leaves
- 5-6 large potatoes, washed and cut into thick slices (about pinky finger width)
- tbsp thyme (fresh is best)
- Heat oven to 160C or 140C fan.
- Melt some of the butter in a large saucepan. Season chops with salt, pepper and a bit of thyme.
- Brown the chops in the saucepan for about 3-4mins a side. Try get the fat to brown nicely. Remove the chops from the pan. IF you want to, you can now cut off the fat. I kept a little bit of fat on the chops to add to flavour and keep the chops succulent.
- Add onions, mushrooms and carrots to the pan and saute until tender.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the pan and stir around to cook for about a minute.
- Shake in worcestershire sauce and stir, before adding the lamb stock.
- Bring the stock to the boil and then reduce to a slow simmer. Add the mutton and veg soup mix and stir through.
- Add the last of the thyme as well as the bay leaves. TASTE YOUR MIX! It will be quite salty but very meaty and delicious. If you want to counter the salt with some pepper do so, or if it isn’t salty enough add more worcestershire sauce.
- Pour the mix from the saucepan into a casserole or roasting dish. Set the chops into the sauce.
- Layer the potato slices over the mix (as seen in the pics) brush the potatoes with some melted butter and season with a little salt and pepper. Cover the whole dish with tin foil and poke two holes in for steam to escape.
- Cook in the oven for 1 and 1/2 hours.
- Remove from the oven, uncover and brush the potatoes again with butter.
- Turn oven up to 180C. Leave dish uncovered and put back in the oven for 8 mins just to brown off the potatoes.
- Keep the mushrooms pieces thick because they shrink when they cook so by keeping the bits large you will still have pretend kidney chunks left when you are done cooking. I suggest cutting small to medium size mushies in half and large mushies into thirds.
- The potatoes must be sliced thickly so that they come out like roast potatoes and not like crisps.
I loved this dish and even my wary-of-lamb boyfriend enjoyed it!
Serving suggestion: cold, rainy day and a glass of shiraz.