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Lancashire Hotpot with Lamb

Lancashire hotpot, a traditional British recipe for a lamb or mutton stew featuring kidneys & oysters topped with golden scalloped potatoes.

My version uses lamb neck fillet, wonderful lambs kidneys and tinned smoked oysters and it is simply stunning!

Traditional scalloped potato topped Lancashire hotpot.

Traditional British Lamb Hotpot

Just like my cottage pie recipe, this Lancashire hotpot recipe is a real traditional British meal. It is also what British food does exceptionally well, glorious, hearty brown simplicity.

When it comes to British parlance a hotpot is a stew cooked under a scalloped potato “lid”.

This lamb hotpot joins to other variants, a mustardy chicken hotpot , a sausage hotpot with cider gravy and a spicy Beef Hotpot with North African influences.

I also have a panacalty, which is dish from the North East which is a hotpot in all but name and features good old corned beef.

Using the word “traditional” is always problematic when it comes to recipes… I mean how far back do you go and whose tradition do you lean on?

Well, this recipe is built on several recipes from the turn of the 20th century but loose references date back to the 17th century.

I have moved to lamb to make the dish a little more accessible, but have stuck with kidneys and oysters in my recipe.

I adore offal and as far as I am concerned it makes this hotpot better!

As for oysters, at one point in time, they were exceptionally cheap and they were often added to pies. Beef or steak and oyster pie remains fairly popular today.

I use tinned smoked oysters because I love the flavour that the smoke adds and they are also easy to find in many British supermarkets.

Traditional scalloped potato topped Lancashire hotpot with buttered cabbage on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different cut of lamb?

Yes, but I personally think that lamb neck fillet works best in this recipe, but you could use some diced shoulder if you wish.

If you are new to lamb neck as a cut of meat, use it, it is glorious, I even have an on-the-bone lamb neck stew.

Can I use mutton?

Absolutely, if you can get your hands on some mutton neck then go for it.

Mutton has a lower water content and higher fat content. That means flavour, much more flavour! I would cook under foil for an additional 30 minutes if I were to make this with mutton

Do I have to use kidneys?

Again, yes. However, I think that kidneys make for the very best Lancashire hotpot!

Just double up the amount of meat and omit the kidneys.

Can I use fresh oysters?

Yes, use 4-6 oysters, clean them and add them to the meat mix just before you pour it into the casserole dish.

Can I cook this in advance?

Yes, you can cook this hotpot to the point where you remove the foil and then chill it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Then blast it in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes to brown before serving.

You could also freeze it for up to 3 months, although I am not keen on freezing potatoes.

Close-up scalloped potato topping on a traditional British Lamb hotpot.

Serving Suggestions

I have served my lamb hotpot with some simple and quick buttered cabbage here but this meat feast works with a host of vegetable sides.

Sticking with the idea of greens everything from braised cavolo nero to minted peas or roasted tenderstem broccoli would work really well.

It is also superb spooned over a slice of roasted savoy cabbage!

Sprouts and carrots also make great sides for this recipe, I would add some sweet glazed Chantenay carrots or miso and bacon Brussel sprouts.

Overhead scalloped potato topped Lancashire hotpot with buttered cabbage.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comment section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 1 Litre (1 Quart) casserole dish. Mine is 21cm x 16cm x 4.5cm or 8″ x 6″ x 2″.
  • Mandolin for slicing potatoes (OPTIONAL).
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan, not nonstick if possible.
  • Sharp kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Tin foil.
Potato topped lamb Lancashire hotpot with kidneys and oysters.
Yield: 2 Servings

Traditional Lamb Lancashire Hotpot

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

A traditional Lancashire hotpot is a lamb or mutton stew topped with scalloped potatoes that is baked in the oven, I lean on old-school ideas and lean out the expensive meat with kidneys and season with a tin of smoked oysters. This recipe is special!

Ingredients

  • 225g (8oz) Lamb Neck Fillet
  • 4 (Approx 225g or 8oz) Lambs Kidneys
  • 85g Tin Smoked Oysters in Oil (Optional)
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 50g (3 Tbsp +1 Tsp) Butter
  • 200g (1⅓ Cup) Onion
  • 1½ Tbsp Plain Flour
  • 500ml (2 Cups) Lamb Stock
  • 500g (3-3½ Cups) Potatoes
  • Salt as Required

Instructions

  1. Cut the lamb across the fillet into 1.5cm (½"-¾") long pieces, then cut each of those pieces in half.
  2. Prepare the kidneys by cutting them in half lengthways and trimming out the white membrane. Then cut them into a 1cm (½") dice.
  3. Drain the canned oysters and cut them in half.
  4. Peel the onion, cut it in half and then into 3-4mm (⅛") thick half-moon shapes.
  5. Strip the leaves from the rosemary and chop them as finely as you can.
  6. Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan (not non-stick if possible) over a high-medium heat and when it is hot add the oil and two-thirds of the butter.
  7. When the butter begins to foam add the lamb neck fillet and brown on all sides, then remove and set aside.
  8. Add the kidneys to the pan and brown for 2-3 minutes, remove and combine with the lamb.
  9. Add the onions to the butter reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until they begin to soften and colour up.
  10. Sprinkle over the flour and stir in for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the flour from burning.
  11. Pour in the lamb stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove all of the tasty bits!
  12. Add two-thirds of the rosemary and the oysters then cook for 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Have a taste and add salt if you think it needs some.
  13. Cut the potatoes into 5-6mm (¼") thick slices, using a mandolin here really helps but watch your fingers.
  14. Add layer of potatoes to the base of a casserole dish (21cm x 16cm x 4.5cm or 8″ x 6″ x 2″) and then pour over the lamb stew, then arrange the remaining potato over the top of the dish.
  15. Dot on the remaining butter and sprinkle over a little sea salt, then wrap tightly in tin foil and place in the oven and cook for 2 hours at 150°C or 300°F.
  16. Remove the hotpot from the oven and turn the heat up to 200°C or 400°F, then remove the foil, sprinkle over the remaining rosemary and return to the oven for a final 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1153Total Fat: 60gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 997mgSodium: 760mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 78g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Valentina

Monday 19th of November 2018

This is a gorgeous dish. Those potatoes are so thin and crispy and beautifully caramelized. And I'm loving all of those root vegetables. Not sure I can get my hands on mutton, but I'm sure I'll love it with the lamb.

C

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

@Brian Jones, Try field and flower. They sell mutton. It helps uk farmers too.

Brian Jones

Thursday 22nd of November 2018

Thanks Valentina, I love this recipe so much, I wish lamb and mutton were a little more available here.

Jeff

Tuesday 24th of October 2017

What gorgeous pictures! This looks really delicious.

Brian Jones

Thursday 26th of October 2017

Cheers Jeff!

Lisa|Garlic & Zest

Friday 20th of October 2017

Glorious - in all of its brown simplicity -- you crack me up! Believe it or not, they don't sell mutton (that I've ever seen) in the states. I can get lamb without an issue, but I've never seen mutton before. You said it's more flavorful than lamb -- is it a deeper flavor or a different one all together? Just curious. This casserole looks fabulous - and your photos are mouthwatering.

Brian Jones

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Thanks Lisa, you are too kind! Mutton comes from a sheep over two years old, lamb less than a year and hogget comes from a sheep between the two, it's only a rule of thumb it is actually more about the teeth but it is a good guide. As with all meat flavour comes from muscles being used so the older a beast the more flavour it will carry, it will be a very similar flavour just much more intense than the younger meat.

Amy | The Cook Report

Friday 20th of October 2017

I cannot think of anything more perfect now the weather is getting colder!

Brian Jones

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Thanks Amy.

Annie @ Annie's Noms

Friday 20th of October 2017

Pure comfort right here!! What a fantastic looking recipe! I'm so loving Autumn and seeing so many comforting, warming recipes. I need to try this, mutton is not something I cook with enough!

Brian Jones

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Me too, the change of seasons is always my favourite time of year.

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