Monday, August 29, 2016

Slow Cooking from a Slow Guy -Hickey's Lancashire Hot Pot

Now, that I no longer need to cook for my bairns, as they are all out of the nest, I prepare food for a few days at a time.  The Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker is an exceptional device - Ratatouille, Soups, Pulled Pork and one of my ethnic favorites Lancashire Hotpot.

Lancashire was often the destination for the Irish, prior to coming to America.  Liverpool, home of the Beatles is called the Capital of Ireland and three of the fab four were Irish to the bone.  The docks of Liverpool provided passage fare for Paddy and Mick and Larry, my County Kerry grandfather.

One of the first phrases of praise came from my Grandpa Hickey - Lawrence - Larry - Father who rated every product, food, attitude, fashion, or manner by the standard - Liverpool.

" Jesus, that is a fine soup. Tastes like it came all the way from Liverpool.  Liverpool was as much of a standard of excellence as one's ability to dig:   "He has the honors and degrees, but he can't dig worth shite,"or "That Mossy Enright is a hell-of-a-man! He can dig so. Not as good as Martin Ford, mind you, but good."

I learned to cook from Larry's sons and daughters.  My Grandmother was a magnificent cook who learned her arts from two Black women and a Mexican lady.  Granny Hickey could lay down some serious cooking chops and spiced up many dishes.

Hickey men do the same.

  • Here is what I call Lancashire Hotpot.  I go to Pat & Jacks, County Fair, or Mariano's for lamb.  I use a lamb steak cut from a leg of lamb* with the bone ring and all of its tasty marrow and a pound and half of lamb cut into bite sized pieces.
  • I use a pound and a half of Melissa's Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. I leave them whole - a traditional Lancashire hot pot uses thinly slice potatoes as the last layer browned in the oven.  The Baby Dutch are small and fall apart nicely.
  • Eight thin carrots cut into chunks
  • One large Vidalia Onion cut up in chunks
  • A paste of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, and garlic  2- 3 Tablesoons Worcetershire sauce
  • Sea Salt and Coarse Black Pepper
  • One cup of celery chunks

I layer the celery on the bottom of the hot pot. Dash of Sea Salt an black pepper, Then the Lamb steak - salt and pepper, a layer of whole Baby Dutch Yellows, Salt and Pepper.  Next a Layer of Onions and One big teaspoon of herb paste.  Then  the lamb chunks -salt and pepper.  Another layer of Onions. Then the carrots and the  remaining potatoes more salt and pepper and the remaining paste. Eight or nine generous dashes of Worcester Sauce. Cover.

This needs NO water or broth. All of the juicy goodness placed in the pot works up a storm!

Cook on high for six hours and on low for another two. Serve with a great crusty bread and a side dish of red cabbage, or not. It is plenty good. Oh, do not try and eat the lamb bone ring. Tough on the buckers.

* I have used lamb ribs and chops as well - seared in butter. 

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