Now, I'm all about the slow cooking and giving a dish all the time it needs to be perfect, be that 3, 4 or even 5 hours, but sometimes a dish only needs the time it needs to be yummy. My lamb hotpot only needs an hour from start to finish (yes in my eyes that's quick 😂). Traditional lamb hotpot needs at least two hours such as the proper one made by the Hairy Bikers whilst mine takes half that time because a) I use lean lamb fillet b) I half fry the potatoes beforehand and c) I cook most of it on the stove and finish it off in the oven. Once I cooked it for longer and it really just didn't need it. This way the vegetables are just well done and not mushed, and the lamb is beautifully tender.
I've used alot of veg in this, in fact the ratio to meat and veg is about equal. I chopped the veg quite chunky as I wanted quite a rustic texture to the whole thing and whilst you can slice even thinner potatoes using a mandolin or a food processor, I can't be bothered and just slice the potatoes quite thinly using a knife. Some people use flour to thicken the sauce but I like a thinnish sauce to balance out the starchy potatoes. If you have some rosemary growing in your garden put a good sprig in, it makes a wonderful difference. I also used dried herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram) which give it a nice depth and as usual I use spice sparingly so you can still taste all the flavours. Finally, I used a cast iron dish to cook the hotpot in which transmits heat in a way that makes everything taste better, you can use any heavy casserole dish though of course you may have to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Easy Lamb Hotpot
Lamb hotpot with vegetables and a potato lattice top
- 500 g lean lamb fillet with most of the fat removed cut into cubes
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 medium carrots sliced
- 2 celery stalks chopped into rounds
- 1 leek chopped into rounds
- 1 cup mushrooms quartered
- 1 sprig rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried medierranean herbs
- ½ teaspoon 7 spice
- ¼ teaspoon each of paprika turmeric, black pepper
- Approx ½ tablespoon salt to taste
- 3 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
- Approx 1 cup boiling water
- 3 medium potatoes thinly sliced <10mm
In a shallow non stick frying pan seal the lamb fillet cubes on high heat until they are brown on the outside but still uncooked in the middle. This should only take a few minutes and you should do it in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Transfer the meat to a casserole or cast iron dish and put it on lowest heat to start the slow cooking.
Add the celery, carrots and leeks to the lamb.
In the first pan, add some cooking olive oil and caramelise the onions on low heat, this should take around 20 minutes at least. Whilst the onions are cooking add the 7 spice, paprika and turmeric and keep stirring. Add to the lamb when done.
Add the tomatoes, tomato concentrate, rosemary, salt and mushrooms to the lamb pot. Raise the heat for a few minutes until the tomatoes bubble then return to low. Add around a cup of boiling water.
Shallow fry the potatoes until they are half done, drain on kitchen towel and turn the oven on at 180°C.
By now the lamb should have been cooking slowly for about 40 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust if necessary. Also lightly sprinkle salt on the half fried potatoes.
Turn the stove off and layer the potatoes so they slightly overlap. Put the hotpot into the oven for around 20 minutes until the potatoes are crispy. Turn the hotpot around half way if you need to get an even bake.
Serve piping hot because it is a hotpot after all 😌