Monday 27 May 2013

Lamb and Veg Hotpot

A hotpot is quite tricky to cook in the van due to the massive temperature difference between the top and bottom of the oven. I use a pot with a lid to protect the potatoes from the higher heat, then whip the lid off for the last half hour. Please note I haven't dared call this Lancashire hotpot as it is nothing like the traditional recipe, it's just what I made up on the day.


Lamb neck cut into 1" chunks
1x Onion
2x Large carrots, diced quite large
Potatoes, sliced about 2mm thick
1x Lamb stock cube
Half a swede, peeled and diced quite large
French beans, trimmed and cut in half
1x Garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1x Leek, chopped
2x Celery sticks, cut into 1cm chunks
1x Rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped.
Worcestershire sauce
2x Glasses of white wine


1. In a frying pan brown the lamb in a couple of batches. Put the lamb in the casserole dish.
2. Sweat off the onion and leek in the frying pan, add the garlic for the last minute then add to the casserole.
3. Fill the pan with about half a litre of water and bring to a simmer, add the stock cube, rosemary leaves and a good glug of Worcestershire sauce.
4. Thicken the gravy a little with cornflour (the cornflour must be mixed to a paste with cold water before pouring into the gravy).
5. Taste, season then pour into the casserole dish.
6. Add the carrots, swede, beans and celery to the casserole.
7. Pour in a glass of wine and give it all a good mix.
8. Layer the potato slices on the top, brush with a little melted butter or oil, season, put the lid on.
9. Put in the oven on gas mark 7 for about half an hour then turn down to gas mark 4 for about 2 hours.
10. Take the lid off and turn back up to gas 7. Its done when the spuds are nicely browned.
11. Put the pan on a trivet in the centre of the table and get stuck in.

Friday 3 May 2013

Pork Chop in Cider Sauce with Garlic Mash and Pancetta Cabbage

This is a family favourite from an original recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall called Pan to Oven Pork Chops and featured in his Meat book. First cooked in May 2013 at High Onn then revisited in August 2014 at Stamford Top Lodge.


2x Pork chops, nice and thick ones from the butcher
1x Garlic bulb
1x Cabbage
1x Leek
5x Rashers of pancetta or streaky bacon
1x teaspoon of caraway seeds
1x Bottle of dry cider
Potatoes, enough to make as much mash as you want.


1. Peel and chop spuds and put in a pan of water. Add 2 peeled cloves of garlic to pan. Set aside for now.
2. Pour the cider into a pan and get boiling to reduce by at least half.
3. Turn oven on to gas 7 (220C) and put roasting pan in.
4. In a big frying pan or wok heat a drop of oil and toss in all the remain cloves of garlic with their skins on. Turn cloves over for 1-2 minutes then remove and set aside.
5. Season the pork chops well on each side and put them in the hot frying pan. Brown both sides. I also like to hold them upright with tongs, skin side down so it gets nice and crispy.
6. In the hot roasting pan arrange the chops so the skin is sticking up. I used the ends of the leeks to prop them up. Pour the cider reduction over the meat but take care not to get any on the skin. Cover the chops with the cloves of garlic then pop the lot into the oven for 20 minutes.
7. Get the spuds boiling to make mash.
8. Chop the leeks and cabbage and take a few minutes for a slurp.
9. Chop the pancetta or bacon into slivers and fry in the frying pan for a couple of minutes. Remove and set aside.
10. Add the leek to the frying pan, sweat off for a few minutes.
11. Add the caraway seeds and chopped cabbage to the pan and keep turning.
12. Add the cooked pancetta to the pan.
13. Take the chops out of the oven and set aside to rest.
14. In the microwave or a small pan heat some milk and butter for the mash.
15. Drain and mash the spuds then fork through the hot milky butter, season to taste.
16. Taste the cider sauce and season if needed. Sometimes I put a pinch of stock in and you can thicken if you like.
17. Plate up!