Lancashire hotpot is a great way to make use of spring lamb. Hearty and comforting, serve with steamed vegetables for a family supper.
900g lamb neck and shoulder, cut into large chunks
3 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
450ml strong lamb stock
5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
Small bunch of parsley, tied with a string
900g floury potatoes, peeled and sliced to 3mm thick
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Massage salt and pepper into the meat and leave for 10 minutes.
2. Place a 26cm cast-iron casserole pan over a medium to high heat and melt two thirds of the butter. Brown the meat in batches, then remove from the pan. Add the onions, carrots and garlic, and fry until they are light brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the meat back to the pan and sprinkle it with the flour. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the stock. Add the anchovies, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Mix well with a wooden spoon and bury the tied parsley in the centre.
4. Arrange the sliced potatoes in an overlapping pattern on top of the meat mixture and top with a few pieces of butter. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, put the lid on and place the casserole in the oven for one and a half hours.
5. Take the dish out of the oven, remove the lid, then place the pan under the grill for 10–15 minutes, until the potatoes have started to brown. Serve (putting the bay leaves aside) with steamed vegetables such as tenderstem broccoli or spring greens.
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