300g/10½oz finely shredded red cabbage
80g/3oz coarse sea salt
275ml/10fl oz malt vinegar
140ml/5fl oz white wine vinegar
140ml/5fl oz balsamic vinegar
400ml/14fl oz red wine
5 bay leaves
10 whole cloves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp whole pink peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
5 whole dried chillies
100g/3½oz under-shoulder of lamb, preferably Lonk
100g/3½oz lamb shoulder, preferably Lonk
100g/3½oz lamb neck, preferably Lonk
100g/3½oz lamb shin, preferably Lonk
4 x 100g/3½oz lamb loin, preferably Lonk
2½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
25g/1oz plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
60g/2oz salted butter, melted
600g/1lb 5oz Tarleton onions, thinly sliced
500g/1lb 2oz Golden Wonder potatoes, peeled, cut horizontally into 2mm thick slices
pinch white pepper
For the pickled red cabbage, place the shredded cabbage in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 2-3 hours, then drain and wash away the salt. Pay dry with a clean tea towel.
Place all of the vinegars, the wine and sugar into a non-reactive pan and cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
Place the star anise, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and dried chillies into a mortar and pound with a pestle until coarsely ground. Add to the vinegar and wine mixture, take off the heat and allow to infuse for five minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, discard the solids, then pour the strained liquid over the cabbage in a bowl. Transfer the cabbage and pickling liquid into a sterilised jar and seal. Set aside until needed.
Preheat the oven to 140C/285F/Gas 1.
For the hotpot, chop the under-shoulder, shoulder and shin meat into 3cm/1½in pieces and the lamb neck into chops. Season all of the lamb pieces and the lamb loins with a pinch of sugar, half a teaspoon of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dust the chopped lamb pieces with the flour and arrange in the base of a heavy hotpot or casserole dish.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and sear the lamb loins on all sides for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside.
Heat 15g/½oz of the butter in a clean pan over a medium-low heat until foaming, then fry the onions with the one teaspoon of the sea salt for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Spread the onions evenly on top of the lamb in the hotpot dish.
Place the sliced potatoes into a bowl, add 25g/1oz of the melted butter and season with the remaining sea salt and a pinch of white pepper, and mix well. Layer the sliced potatoes evenly on top of the onions.
Place the hotpot, covered, in the oven and cook for two hours. Increase the oven temperature to 160C/320F/Gas 2, brush the potatoes with the remaining melted butter and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, until the potatoes are golden-brown on top. Place the seared lamb loin on a trivet above the hot pot during the last 12-15 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked to your liking. Set the hotpot aside, and place the lamb loin on a warm plate to rest for five minutes.
For the baby carrots and leeks, cook the carrots and leeks in a pan of boiling mineral water for 4-5 minutes, or until tender, then drain and refresh in cold water. Set aside.
Melt the sugar in a pan and cook (do not stir the sugar) until golden-brown and caramelised, then melt in the butter and stir well to combine. Add the carrots and leeks to the caramelised sugar and butter mixture, stirring to coat. Warm through for one minute, then spoon into four small serving bowls.
To serve, divide the hotpot equally among four serving bowls. Thickly slice each of the lamb loins and arrange over each hotpot. Serve the carrots and leeks alongside the hotpot. Spoon the pickled red cabbage into small serving bowls and serve alongside.
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