Lancashire Hotpot, Made In Dorset
been looking forward to making this dish ever since I grasped the nettle with both hands and put it on the Menu list! Now I know that hubby has some "issues" with hotpots (mainly the potatoes on top never cooking right and the fact that they can be greasy) but this one issued an additional challenge to me, owing to the inclusion of kidney in the recipe.
I had chosen one of James Martin's recipes and I knew it required some tweaking, largely because it included 100g of dripping or butter! There was no way I was using either of those - none of our hips require additional padding - but I didn't want to lose any of the flavour.
Additionally, because (as I've mentioned previously) I have two fat-phobic diners in the house, I was using lamb mince so as to avoid any horrible blobby and gelatinous bits of fat floating to the surface. So, I dry-fried the mince to release all the fat which I poured off and left the mince in the pan (without stirring) so that the bottom layer gained that lovely crispy texture that they call "caramelising", but I call "flavour". *chuckle*
I left just enough fat in the pan to fry the kidneys and the onion/carrot mixture, then lifted them out with a slotted spoon, to leave as much fat in the pan as was possible. It seemed to work, as there was only a small amount of fat floating on the top - and most of that came from the butter I'd brushed onto the potatoes. It was easily removed (and put in the dog bowl, lol).
The kidneys were so delicious in this! It was the first time I'd ever tangled with kidneys and I figured that if I could cut up liver (which I can, without any difficulty), then I could remove the core from a kidney and cut it up. I was praying that they wouldn't turn out to be terribly bloody, which fortunately they weren't and the core came out incredibly easily - which left a lot to be said for my terrific knife, rather than any skill on my part. After the quick fry and then two hours of cooking in the casserole dish in the oven, they were as tender as could be and completely delicious.
I served the hotpot with broccoli, swede batons and peas. Both son and his friend (who stayed for tea as a last minute thing) loved the dish, the friend declaring it "gorgeous!" and saying he'd make sure to tell his Mum & Dad about it. *chuckle* Well, you can't ask for better than that!