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Lamb hotpot, by Nathan Green

04 January 2010

This recipe for lamb hotpot comes courtesy of Nathan Green, head chef at the Old Bear in Cobham, Surrey.

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 5-6)

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small swede
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 parsnip
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 1 lamb shoulder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp tomato paste
  • 500ml water
  • 1kg Maris Piper potatoes
  • 2tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2tbs fresh mint, chopped
  • 150g unsalted butter

METHOD

Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel the onion, carrot, swede, turnip and parsnip and cut them into an even-size dice about 1cm across. Peel the garlic and finely slice it. Take the herbs and tie them up with string.

In a deep roasting tray or large casserole pot add the olive oil. Take the lamb shoulder and season it all over with salt and pepper. Place it in the hot olive oil and colour all over until it is a nice golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Now add all your vegetables, garlic, herbs and dried oregano to the pan with a pinch of salt. Turn the pan to a low heat and sweat the vegetables until they start to go soft. Now add the tomato paste and stir it in.

Place the shoulder on top of the vegetables, add about 500ml of water and bring to the boil. Cover the roasting tin with foil and bake for four hours at 160°C. The shoulder is cooked when it starts to fall off the bone. Remove it from the roasting tin and cool it for a while on a plate.

Pour the cooking juices through a strainer. Keep the vegetables but remove the bunch of herbs.

Slice the potatoes as finely as possible (a Japanese mandolin is best).

Remove the bones from the lamb and pull the meat to pieces by hand.

Add the cooked vegetables and the fresh parsley and mint. Mix together and check the seasoning; you may want to a add a little salt and pepper.

Place the mixture in an ovenproof serving dish and add some of the stock - not too much, though, you don't want the meat swimming in stock.

Start to layer your potato slices on top of the meat. When each layer is complete, add a ladle of stock and a little salt and pepper. Repeat this process five times.

When the last layer is complete add slices of butter to it. This will help it brown and crisp up. Now bake the hotpot in the oven at 180°C. Cook until you get a nice crisp golden brown top. This takes up to one hour before the potatoes are cooked.

For extra crispness you can put it under the grill for a couple of minutes.

I recommend serving the hotpot with either a green salad or pickled red cabbage.

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