Hotpot is the perfect dish for hearty appetites on a cold winter day - keep the cooking low and slow to ensure tender lamb.
1.5kg/3lb 5oz neck fillet of lamb, cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 lambs’ kidneys, trimmed, skinned and chopped
2 large onions, thickly sliced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp flour
1.25 litres/2¼ pints beef stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1.5kg/3lb 5oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm/ 1/4in thick slices
50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp caraway seeds
1 pointed cabbage, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a large ovenproof casserole until hot, then add the oil and butter and sear the lamb until browned all over. You’ll have to do this in batches.
Set the lamb aside then quickly sear the lambs’ kidneys in the same pan. Add the onions, adding a little more butter to the pan if necessary, and cook for about 10 minutes until they turn brown at the edges.
Stir in the flour and cook for one minute, then add the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until the flour and liquid are smoothly blended.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to simmering point. Return the lamb to the pan then add the bay leaf and thyme.
Arrange the potato slices on top of the meat, overlapping each other as you go.
Season the potatoes with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper then dot with a little more butter.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 1½ hours.
Remove the lid and turn the oven up to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Cook for a further 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp.
Heat a large frying pan and add the butter, once melted and hot add the caraway seeds and cook for two minutes. Then add the cabbage and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Pile the hotpot onto plates, removing the bay leaf and thyme as you serve, and spoon the cabbage alongside.
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James is joined by chefs Theo Randall and Jack Stein, plus Gary Kemp.
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