Monday, 27 February 2017

Lancashire Hotpot with Lamb Shanks

In my opinion, Lancashire hotpot is one of the all time best casseroles... though being from Lancashire I might be a tiny bit biased. The fat from the lamb combines with the stock to make a rich sauce, and the top layer of crispy potatoes contrasts drastically with the potatoes lower down which absorb some of the tasty sauce. 

Traditionally, mutton was used in the hotpot but it can be difficult to get hold off. So lamb is more frequently used nowadays, particularly tougher cuts like diced shin or neck. If you do want to use diced lamb, add it between each layer of potatoes.

My personal favourite cut of lamb is the shank though, so I've gone for that. I've also used a pressure cooker to really shorten the cooking time, but this could easily be cooked in the oven for a few hours.

Serves 2 (large portions)

2 lamb shanks
6 potatoes (maris piper variety), unpeeled and sliced
2 onions, halved and sliced
2tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
450g chicken stock
100g butter (salted), cut into cubes

Note: To follow this method, you're pressure cooker pan needs to oven proof (mine has a removable oven proof pan).
In the pressure cooker, layer two of the sliced potatoes and one sliced onion along the bottom. Then season that layer with 1tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper.
Place the lamb shanks on top and add another layer of potatoes, onions and seasoning, then a final topping of potatoes and pour the stock on top.
Cook for about an 1 hour, the lamb should be tender and start to come away from the bone. Whilst the hotpot is cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C.
Once finished in the pressure cooker, dot the butter all over the top and place in the oven until the potatoes become nice and crispy.

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