Traditional lancashire hotpot

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By: James Martin

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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.35 / 5 (106 votes)

Prep time:
25 min
Cook time:
1 hr 45 min

A wonderfully satisfying casserole from James Martin - tender thyme-scented lamb and kidneys beneath a crisp buttery potato topping


1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C/gas 3.

2. Trim the lamb of any excess fat and pat dry with kitchen paper.

3. Heat the oil and a small knob of butter in a large heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Add the lamb two or three pieces at a time, and fry until brown, turning once. Once browned, put into a wide 3.5 litre casserole. Brown the pieces of kidney too, tucking them in amongst the meat.

4. Once the meat and kidney are in the casserole, add the onions to the pan. Fry over medium heat, adding a little more butter if necessary, for about 10 minutes until browned at the edges.

5. Stir in the flour then gradually add the hot water and Worcestershire sauce, stirring until the flour and liquid are smoothly blended. Season with salt and pepper and bring to simmering point. Pour over the meat in the casserole.

6. Tuck in the bay leaf and thyme, then arrange the potato slices on top in an overlapping pattern. Season the potatoes and dot the surface with a few dabs of butter.

7. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and put in the oven. Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, remove the lid and brush the potatoes with a little more butter. Put under the grill to crisp up. Alternatively, remove the lid and increase the heat to 200C/gas 6 for the last 15 minutes of cooking.


  • 900 g middle neck and best end of lamb, sliced into chops
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • butter
  • 4 lamb's kidneys, skinned, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 onions, sliced into 1 cm wedges
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 570 ml boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 900 g potatoes, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

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Latest Comment


All I can say is yummy!

cathH66695 cathH66695  Posted 19 Feb 2014 11:39 AM

audreyB37835 audreyB37835  Posted 12 Feb 2010 9:57 PM

I used lamb steak which was to hand but feel that lamb on the bone would have been better.
Will definately try again

cherry1964 cherry1964  Posted 18 Oct 2009 2:46 PM

Very similar to a recipe I have which I obtained from my Nan who is 93,and she got it from her mum so its pretty traditional I'd say. I use neck chops which are actually very cheap plus you get the bone. bonebfor bett

blulou blulou Posted 28 Jan 2009 3:50 PM

Jaybee 1, what exactly does he get wrong then?

Yorkshire Dave Yorkshire Dave Posted 23 Jan 2009 10:57 PM

this hotpot was the best i have ever taste, very comforting and one that i will be cooking many times to come

kellyives kellyives Posted 16 Jan 2009 7:41 PM

I reckon this is an expensive take on a traditional dish, but it should benefit from the lamb cuts, Should make an exceptional dish which I intend to try.

peterK9671 peterK9671 Posted 16 Nov 2008 8:27 PM

Always rated James as the best but he should leave 'Traditional' Lancashire recipes to traditional Lancashire Folk. The only part of the recipe he gets right is the lamb and the kidneys, the rest, he need lessons!!

jaybee 1 jaybee 1 Posted 01 Nov 2008 12:20 AM