There are now over 50 recipes on this blog so it was high time that I featured one containing lamb. Lean Lamb Hot Pot from the Hairy Dieters is a comforting meal that is simple to put together, and although cooking this takes up to 1 hour and 45 minutes (do keep an eye on your pan so it doesn’t stick!), the oven does most of the work.
Given the relatively high cost of good quality lamb, and the time it takes to braise the meat, outside of a traditional Sunday dinner lamb rarely features on my menu. But the benefits of being on ‘lockdown’ (if I can label it in this way!) mean that l can make stews like this now that daily life as we know it is less chaotic.
Though naturally higher in calories compared to beef and chicken, it is possible to eat a nourishing meal including lamb for under 500 calories so you can stay on track with your diet. Both the Hairy Dieters and Justine Pattison in her ‘Without the Calories’ series of books feature a variety of lamb recipes so check them out. I’ll try and get round to featuring some of them on here eventually.
Recipe: Lean lamb hot pot
Calories: 438 calories per serving
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 30 minutes
Cooking time: Approx 1 hour 45 minutes
Ingredients: For the filling: 700g well-trimmed lamb leg meat (or leg steaks), 2 tsp sunﬂower oil, 2 medium onions (peeled and thinly sliced), 5 medium carrots (peeled and thickly sliced – about 300g prepared weight), 3 tbsp plain ﬂour, 600ml lamb stock (made with 1 lamb stock cube), 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or ½ tsp dried thyme, 1 rosemary stalk or ½ tsp dried rosemary, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ﬂaked sea salt, ground black pepper
For the topping: 3 medium potatoes (about 500g)
Cost per portion: Approx £3.85
Method: Trim any visible fat oﬀ the lamb and cut the meat into rough 3cm chunks. Season generously all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the lamb in 2 batches over a medium-high heat until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer the browned meat to a medium casserole dish– it will need to hold about 2.5 litres.
Tip the onions and carrots into the pan with the lamb and sprinkle with the ﬂour. Toss everything together well, then pour over the stock and add the thyme leaves, rosemary and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices about 5mm thick. Arrange the slices on top of the lamb, overlapping and layering them as you go. Season with ground black pepper and cover with a tight-ﬁtting lid.
Bake the hotpot for 1 hour, then remove the lid and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely browned and the lamb is tender. Check by poking with the point of a knife into the centre of the lamb ﬁlling – if the meat is done the knife should slide in easily. Serve with freshly cooked greens.