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Lancashire hotpot

Traditional recipes for Lancashire hotpot included oysters and sometimes mushrooms, but that was in the days when these two ingredients were commonplace and therefore relatively cheap. Today, this dish makes a simple family meal with lamb chops and potatoes as the main ingredients.

ingredients

serves 4
1 kg (2 lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced into rings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Beef dripping or lard for frying
1 kg. middle neck lamb chops
2 lamb's kidneys, cleaned and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
600 ml (1 pint) hot beef stock

method

1. Put half the potato rings in a layer on the bottom of a deep ovenproof casserole. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Melt a knob of dripping or lard in a frying pan. Add the chops and kidneys and brown quickly on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.

3. Lay the chops and kidneys on top of the potatoes, add the onion and sprinkle with the thyme. Pour in the hot stock. Put the remaining potatoes in a layer on top.

4. Season again, cover with a lid and place in a moderate oven (180°C/350°F or Gas Mark 4). Cook for 2 hours, then remove the lid and return to the oven to brown the top layer of potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Serve immediately, straight from the casserole, with a seasonal green vegetable or buttered carrots.

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