We have usually headed outdoors by this time of year, but with the weather the way it is there is still comfort to be found in warming traditional dishes. Lancashire hotpot is a simple stew of lamb, onions and potatoes with minimal extras and seasonings. A few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf, plus a splash of Worcestershire sauce with plenty of good quality salt and pepper, are all it needs for maximum flavour.

We use boneless neck fillet for full texture and melting flavour, bolstered by just a little lambs kidney. You can use a bone-in cut such as best end of neck, which strictly speaking is the way to go. Don’t be put off by the kidney. Not only is kidney incredibly good for you but brings such flavour to the dish. Chopped up in tiny pieces, it really does make the all the difference to the final result.

Recipe for Lancashire hotpot

Serves 2 -3

400g lamb fillet, chopped into large chunks

1 lambs kidney, chopped small

1 large onion, thickly sliced

3 medium potatoes, sliced

1 tbsp beef dripping

200ml water

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

Flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp butter

  1. Melt the dripping in a heavy frying pan and brown the meat in small batches. Add to a casserole dish.
  2. In the same fat, brown the kidneys, and add those to the casserole dish.
  3. Again, using the same fat, brown the onions slowly, adding salt, pepper, bay leaf and thyme.
  4. Add to the casserole dish.
  5. Stir the water in the frying pan to release all the bits of flavour and pour over the meat and onions.
  6. Season with more salt and pepper and a good splash of Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Layer on the potatoes.
  8. Dot the potatoes with butter and cover the dish with foil.
  9. Bake at 170C for 2 hours.
  10. Remove the foil, turn up the oven to 200C, and brown the potatoes.
  11. Serve piping hot from the oven.

Looking for more British classics, or something light for spring?