Gather friends and family for an afternoon walk, then come home to hotpot and slow-cooked comfort food. The traditional Lancashire hotpot, originally made with mutton, makes a virtue of simplicity
A hearty casserole that deserves its place as a classic
2 tbsp plain flour
900g diced lamb
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 large garlic bulb, cloves peeled and left whole
8 small shallots, peeled
500g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to garnish
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
750g Maris Piper potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 5mm slices
40g butter, melted
1 Tip the flour into a bowl, and season with a few pinches of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Add the lamb and toss to coat in the flour. Heat half the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and add the lamb (you may need to do this in two batches). Cook for 5–6 mins, until brown all over, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2 Add the remaining oil to the same casserole dish and gently fry the onions for around 5 mins, until translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook for a further minute before adding the shallots and carrots. Cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 mins.
3 Return the lamb to the casserole dish, and add the mustard and chopped rosemary. Season and stir well, before stirring through the stock.
4 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/ 350F. Arrange the potato slices on top of the lamb, overlapping slightly to create a lid for the hotpot. Brush with the melted butter, season with salt and black pepper, and cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 11⁄2 hours.
5 Remove the lid or foil, turn up the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F, and cook for a further 30–40 mins, or until the potatoes are golden brown. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
A tangy mustard dressing is a punchy match for cabbage
200g savoy cabbage, shredded
200g curly kale
200g frozen peas
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Cook the vegetables in a pan of boiling salted water for about 4 mins, or until just tender.
2 Drain the vegetables well. Return the pan to a low heat and gently melt together the butter and mustards. Return the vegetables to the pan, season and serve immediately.
Turn to page 24 of October's The Simple Things for more of this autumn walk menu, including:
Upside-down pear cake
Homemade vanilla custard
Cheese and oatcakes