You have been cooking hotpot all incorrect! Chef from award-winning gastropub reveals easy methods to make the proper Lancashire hotpot – and the key to not burning the potatoes on top
The Lancashire hotpot is one of the comforting winter warmer dishes (file photo)
It’s one of the comforting winter warmer dishes – and a top chef has revealed easy methods to rustle up a gourmet, posh version.
Award-winning chef Steven Smith has revealed his suggestions for creating the last word Lancashire hotpot, in addition to sharing his secret to not burning the all-important layer of sliced potatoes on top of the lamb-based dish.
Steven is the culinary maven behind Freemasons at Wiswell, the Lancashire pub that was recently named the UK’s third-best gastropub in the distinguished annual Top 50 Gastropubs Awards. Not only that, however the pub – which lies within the charming village of Wiswell within the Ribble Valley – has a formidable three AA rosettes to its name.
Chatting with MailOnline Travel, Steven says: ‘The recipe for a hotpot desires to be really easy because it’s typically a pauper’s dish and so has easy, humble ingredients.’
Award-winning chef Steven Smith has shared his Lancashire hotpot recipe – and revealed his secret to not burning the all-important layer of sliced potatoes on top
Breaking down the Northern staple’s key ingredients, he continues: ‘On the Freemasons at Wiswell we all the time use lamb neck because it falls apart perfectly, some sliced onions, peeled sliced carrots, lamb stock and flour – that’s it.
‘For the lamb stock, that is best if it’s homemade using leftover lamb bones from a roast lamb dish, plus onions, garlic and any vegetables that need using up at home akin to celeriac, leeks, carrots and greens.
‘So as to add more depth of flavour, season liberally with salt and pepper, and be happy to chuck in some juniper berries, cloves and bay leaves. Throw every part right into a large saucepan, cover with water and simmer for a couple of hours.‘
An extended cooking time equals a greater hotpot, Steven reveals. The chef, who has been running Freemasons at Wiswell since 2009, explains: ‘The longer you simmer, the higher flavour you should have.’
He continues: ‘When you’re able to layer [the meat with potatoes], we all the time line the casserole dish with lamb fat which provides added flavour.’
Steven is the award-winning chef-patron behind Freemasons at Wiswell, the Lancashire pub that was recently named Britain’s third-best gastropub in the distinguished annual Top 50 Gastropubs Awards
What is the trick to stopping the spuds on top from burning?
Steven explains: ‘Traditionally you would like to make a extremely crispy top potato layer. You possibly can easily burn this, so how we do that on the Freemasons is to slice thicker potatoes for the highest layer and top this with the lamb fat. For the opposite layers, you would like to slice the potatoes really thin.’
Next, it’s time to pop your dish within the oven.
Steven says: ‘When you’ve layered your hotpot, cook the dish with tin foil at about 180C in a traditional oven – or 160C for a fan oven – for 2 hours. Then, if you take the tin foil off, make sure that to show the oven up high to make sure that the potatoes on top are really crispy.’
The chef also has a recipe up his sleeve for a fancier tackle the standard Lancashire dish.
He reveals: ‘If you happen to really need to go posh, which we do sometimes, we put lamb kidneys and sweetbreads within the dish as well.’
Those wanting to sample Steven’s culinary creations for themselves can stop by the gastropub to dine on a tasting menu or to enjoy one in all his chef’s table experiences, which supply the possibility to see him at work within the kitchen.
Diners can watch Steven whip up his culinary creations during one in all his kitchen-adjacent chef’s table experiences (above)