Traditional Lancashire Hot Pot


1 kilo middle neck of lamb (or other meat if not available)
4 lambs kidneys, cored skinned and chopped (optional)
500ml hot water with 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 kilo potatoes cut into 3/4 inch thick slices
½ kilo onions
1 bayleaf
A sprig of thyme
Tablespoon flour
Fat or oil for frying
Salt and pepper


In a large frying pan brown the pieces of meat in smoking hot fat or oil, a few at a time. When they are nicely browned remove them to a casserole or pot. Brown the kidneys and tuck them in amongst the meat.
Next fry the onions, adding more fat if necessary, until they are golden brown. Stir in the flour to soak up the juices and add the hot water with Worcestershire sauce little by little, stirring well until it blends to a smooth liquid. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Pour the liquid over the meat in the pot, add the bayleaf and thyme and arrange the potato slices on top so that they overlap like tiles on a roof. Season again, add a few dabs of butter to the top, cover with a tight fitting lid and place in a preheated oven 170°C for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 50 minutes.
To add the finishing touch, brush the potatoes with a little more butter at the end of cooking and finish off under the grill (broiler). Alternatively, increase the oven heat for the last fifteen minutes of cooking.