Monday, 28 November 2011

Lancashire Hotpot

I love tucking into a roast dinner on a Sunday, but sometimes it's just not possible to spend hours in the kitchen especially since I was coping with a hangover and 4 hours sleep after hosting a very lovely early Xmas gathering on Saturday night. So on Sunday, in between looking after 2 energetic boys, going to a kids party and tidying up from the previous night's antics, I wanted to cook something quickly that was warming and comforting and something that was the perfect hangover food. 

Feeling guilty from the amount of bubbles consumed the night before, my chosen dish needed to be most definitely healthy but tasty! The end result was a Lancashire hotpot. I felt compelled to include this in my food blog as I am sure there are many of us who crave a comforting Sunday lunch without busting the diet.

The Lancashire Hotpot was particularly fitting for yesterday, Sunday 27th November as it was Lancashire Day. So what better way to celebrate it then by making a very famous dish originating from the area itself.  Although it takes a while to cook, the preparation takes just 20 minutes or so and you can get on with a million other things whilst the stew takes care of itself. Perfect for us busy mummies!

I couldn't resist adding some ale to bring out the flavour of the lamb and the kidneys and selected Thwaites Lancaster Bomber which is a chestnut colour ale, full of warmth and richness. It complimented the dish perfectly and this addition made the hotpot that bit extra special.

You'll need for 4:
  • 900g diced lamb, such as Sainsburys Be Good To Yourself range
  • 6 lambs kidneys, cut into pieces, sinew removed
  • 1 large onion or 2 smaller ones, peeled & diced
  • 4 or 5 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 sticks of celery , peeled and diced
  • 2 big garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Few dashes worcester sauce
  • 500ml lamb stock
  • Seasoning
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 125ml Lancaster Bomber ale (about half the bottle, drink the rest with your meal!!)
  • 1-2 tsp butter, melted
  • 750g potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

What to do:

Pre-heat your oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.  In a large heavy based saucepan, heat the olive oil. Brown the lamb all over, in batches if need be. Remove using a slotted spoon and keep to one side. Add the onion, celery & carrots to the pan with the garlic and stir well. Cook on a medium heat to soften the vegetables. Put the lamb back in and season. Sprinkle over the flour and stir it in well to cook out the flour. After a minute or two add the ale and stir continuously to prevent any lumps forming. Then add the lamb stock, bay leaves and thyme along with the Worcestershire sauce.

Give everything a good stir and add more water if need be.  Allow to cook on a low heat for a few minutes then remove from the heat. Transfer to another dish if your saucepan is not ovenproof, and add the potatoes overlapping the slices.  Cover with a lid or foil lid if in a roasting dish and place in the oven for a good 1 and half hours.

Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes, brush with the melted butter. Turn the oven up high to help brown the potatoes.

Serve with green vegetables of your choice.

WeightWatchers ProPoints Per Serving: 15

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