The original one-pot-wonder, Lancashire hotpot is made of lambs’ neck and kidneys layered with potatoes and onions and not much else. I’ve added the sweet flavours of carrot, celery, herbs, smoky ham and white wine. I don’t add the kidneys, but I include them here for purist Lancastrians.
Cut excess fat from lamb neck chops. Skin kidneys, and slice the meat on either side of the centre gristly bits. Set aside.
Peel carrots and chop into small dice. Slice celery finely, and chop onions finely. Heat butter and oil in a heavy-based frypan, add carrots, celery, onion, and the slice of speck, and cook for 10 minutes until they start to soften. Add white wine and allow to bubble and reduce until almost gone. Add hot water or broth, and bay leaves. Heat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Slice the potatoes into 1 cm (½ in) discs, and arrange a layer of potatoes on the base of a heavy, lidded casserole. Arrange lamb neck chops and kidneys on top and tuck in little sprigs of rosemary. Spoon over the broth and vegetables, and press down lightly. Finish with a layer of sliced potatoes on top. Scatter with little dobs of butter, cover, and bring to the boil on top of the stove. When simmering, transfer to oven and bake for 2 to 3 hours until the top potatoes are golden brown, but the meat is still juicy.
Serve to each person a deep spoonful of 1 or 2 lamb neck chops and kidneys with the crusty potato topping, and spoon juices around it.
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