Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Since I'm spending the holidays at home I'm taking full advantage of the fact that I have access to an oven and my mum's cookware.  Today I decided to attempt an ambitious, but delicious-looking, lamb and dauphinoise hotpot from my BBC GoodFood magazine.  I say today, but I actually had to start preparing this dish yesterday in order to let the meat cool overnight.  So here it is!

To serve 8 people you will need:
3 large carrots (chopped into large chunks)
1 onion (roughly chopped)
1 bulb of garlic (N.B. you need an entire bulb not just a couple of cloves)
A few sprigs of rosemary and thyme (fresh herbs are best)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 shoulder of lamb on the bone (about 2.5kg)
1 bottle red wine

For the Topping
4-5 potatoes (not too large)
4 sweet potatoes (once again not too big)
150ml double cream
a few knobs of butter

On the day before you want to eat the meal prepare the lamb.  Chop up the vegetables and peel the garlic, the easiest way to do this is by using the wide flat side of a (vegetable) knife and pushing down hard.  This not only loosens the skin on the garlic but it also crushes it slightly.  Scatter the vegetables and herbs into a casserole dish which is large enough to fit the lamb in, stir in the tomato purée and place the lamb on top.  Pour over the wine.  Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 and while the oven is coming up to temperature cover the dish and heat it up on top of the stove (I did this until the sauce was bubbling).  Place the covered dish in the oven for 3 hours.  Then remove from the oven and leave to cool before putting it in the fridge to chill overnight.

Place the veg and lamb in a casserole dish
Even better if you're at home and can use your mum's Le Creuset!
This is what your lamb should look like after 3 hours

The next day you need to remove the lamb from the dish, remove the hard fat and discard, then pull apart and shred the lamb, remembering to remove and large pieces of fat and the bones.  Before putting the lamb back in the dish (or another more suitable pie dish) strain the juices from the veg into a jug (keep the veg).  Put the lamb into your dish and pour over the sauce.  Pick out the carrots from the veg and add them too before gently mixing in with the meat and sauce.  Season and set aside.

I used a smaller pie dish
To make the topping peel the potatoes and slice (if you have a mandoline then that is ideal, if not just try and slice the potatoes as thinly as you can).  Put the sliced potatoes into a pan of cold water and bring to a hard boil, then remove from the heat and drain immediately.  Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6.  Once drained return the potatoes to the pan and pour over the cream.  Arrange the potatoes over the lamb (however you fancy) and drizzle over any remaining cream.  If you have any leftover potatoes, don't worry I'll tell you what to do with those below.  Dot the top of the potatoes with butter and bake in the oven for 40 mins to 1 hour until the top is golden and the sauce is starting to bubble.


If you have extra potatoes then simply layer them in a dish, season regularly with salt and pepper.  Then pour over equal amounts of cream and milk.  It's up to you how much you put on, I filled my dish about half full with cream and milk mix.  I baked this in the oven with the main hotpot (although I had to leave it in about 10 minutes longer for it to brown properly).  If you have to put one dish on a lower shelf to fit both in the oven then after about 30 minutes switch them round to make sure they both brown and cook.

Dauphinoise potatoes
You can cook any extra vegetables you fancy, I cooked peas as they were simple to do alongside the main dish.  I'm pleased to say that after all that work the hotpot tasted delicious.  I have started the year as I mean to go on, cooking!  If there is anything anyone would like to see me attempt then please comment or message me via my blog/Facebook/twitter/Instagram.  Please also follow my blog either through Google or on Bloglovin.  All that remains to be said is Happy New Year, here's wishing you a 2014 full deliciousness!

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