Anyway, Mick, le petit chef, did a great job in the kitchen for those few days I had to keep my forearm elevated, and has since been invaluable for chopping, stirring and the like. It’s quite frustrating not being able to do things myself, but I am adapting to my supervisory role. :-) And thanks to all of you for commiserating with my misfortune, I have really appreciated all your good wishes.
Also, I must thank Nicole at: http://www.testkitchenrecipes.blogspot.com/ for giving me this award.
I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to acknowledge it, I'll be passing it along next time. Thank you Nicole.
Today’s recipe is Lancashire Hotpot, a traditional dish from my home county in England. The origins of Hotpot are a little vague. Some claim it has its basis in the Lancashire cotton industry, as it is a simple dish to prepare and has a long cooking time. Women mill workers could prepare it in the morning, leave it to cook all day, and it would be ready when the family came home from work. Others say it originated with the miners, who would take the pot to work wrapped in a blanket, where it would keep warm until lunchtime. Still others suggest it was prepared for shepherds to eat while tending their sheep on the moors.
But, one thing historians generally agree on is that Lancashire Hotpot made its first appearance during the industrial revolution of the mid 19th century. Hotpot is certainly mentioned in Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel, North and South, which was first published in 1855. Mr. Thornton, a mill owner in the novel says of Lancashire Hotpot, "I never made a better dinner in my life." I hope you all enjoy it as much.
Originally, Hotpot was made with mutton and oysters, both of which were very cheap in 19th century England; nowadays we use lamb and exclude the oysters. I’m afraid I have deviated even more from tradition and used beef. I did actually manage to get some lamb – but that’s a whole other story – and we have now become so accustomed to the beef version that we actually prefer it. I guess you could say that my Lancashire Hotpot is a variation on beef stew, but what ever it is, it’s darned tasty.
1lbs beef stew meat
½ cup seasoned flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2lbs russet potatoes, thinly sliced
1-cup beef broth/stock
1 onion sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 turnip or rutabaga, sliced
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- Put flour and beef in a resealable plastic bag, and shake to coat.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium high heat, add beef and sauté until browned.
- Transfer the meat to a tall-sided casserole or Pyrex dish and top with a layer of potatoes. Use the smaller pieces, reserving the larger ones for the top layer.
- In alternate layers add, onions, rutabaga, carrots, and top with remaining potatoes.
- Pour in the stock.
Brush the potatoes with half the melted butter. Cover dish and bake for 1½ hours.
- Remove the dish from the oven, and brush the potatoes with remaining melted butter.
- Return dish to the oven, and cook uncovered for a further 30 minutes or until potatoes are browned. If the potatoes don’t brown evenly pop the dish under the broiler for a few minutes.