Cooking time: 2 hours
2 sticks celery
½ bunch thyme
1.5kg large King Edward potatoes
2 lamb neck fillets (total weight 1.2kg)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lamb cutlets
100g (3½oz) butter
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
400ml (14floz) brown chicken stock
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/R5. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Peel the carrots and celery and trim the leeks, then cut these vegetables into nicely shaped 2cm pieces (à la paysanne). Pick the leaves from the thyme.
2 Cut the potatoes into barrel shapes to remove the skin and shape them. Using a very sharp knife (or a mandolin if you have one), cut the potatoes into 2mm-thick slices. Keep the slices in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration. Cut each lamb fillet into 4 pieces, so 8 pieces in total.
3 Season the neck fillets and cutlets. Heat a splash of vegetable oil over a high heat in a flameproof casserole and brown the pieces of fillet on all sides. Take the fillet out and brown the cutlets in the same way.
4 Put the onions into the same pan with a small knob of butter and cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and coloured; they will take on the flavour from browning the meat. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5 Put the cut vegetables into the pan with the thyme leaves and another knob of butter and sweat them over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until they are slightly soft but not coloured.
6 Now you can assemble the hotpot. Layer the onions over the vegetables in the pan and place the pieces of neck fillet on top.
7 Cover the meat with a layer of potatoes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the lamb cutlets in the pot and cover with the remaining potatoes. Put a few
knobs of butter over the potatoes, season well and add the rosemary and bay leaf.
8 Bring the stock to the boil in a small pan and pour over the hot pot. Place in the oven and cook for about 13/4 hours, occasionally spooning out the stock that rises to the top and pouring it back over the potatoes. This will help them glaze well.
9 When the hotpot is cooked, the potatoes will look nicely glazed and you will be able to pierce them easily with the tip of a small knife. You will also see the meat on the cutlets coming away from the bones. Ideally, leave to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Recipe and image courtesy of Claridge’s.