Better than Betty's Hotpot, this is a wintery dish, but have you seen the weather recently? Our poor BBQ is swaddled in a soggy protective coat and my sun lounger is folded up in the corner of the patio waiting for a sunny day. My freckles are fading! I made these pies with delicious tender Irish beef, lots of rainbow carrots and really thinly sliced potatoes over the top. Make a big one for a family dinner or individual ones for a cosy supper a deux or a dinner with friends. My recipe serves four people so you can scale up the ingredients to serve 6, 8 or even 12 people. Because it spends a lot of time in the oven, you can get on with reading the papers, painting your nails or whatever you like to do to relax...
Beef and Stout Hotpot
Beef and Stout Hotpot
900g lean diced Beef
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp each Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Oil
2 Onions, cut into 1cm cubes
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 sticks of Celery, cut into 1cm slices
4 Carrots, cut into 1cm cubes
500ml bottle of Stout
1 sprig Rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp Thyme, finely chopped
3 Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced*
Toss the diced beef in the seasoned flour (mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag, add the beef and shake well). Heat the oil in a large lidded casserole dish on the hob on a medium heat, add the beef in batches and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate while you get on with the rest of the dish.
Add the onion to the pot (with a drop more oil if you think it's required) and fry gently for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another minute until you can smell it but it's not burning. Now throw in the celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 160c/Gas Mark 3. Return the beef to the pot, add the stout, rosemary and thyme and stir well. Bring the pot to the boil and then turn off the heat, put the lid on the casserole and leave it in the oven for 90 minutes.
* About 75 minutes into cooking, peel and thinly slice the potatoes. You can do this with a very sharp knife and a lot of patience. Me, I use a mandolin because it's consistent, fast and safe (once you use the finger guard). Take the casserole out of the oven, remove the lid and taste the hotpot - adjust the seasoning at this stage if you think it's necessary.
Now turn up the heat to 200c/Gas Mark 6, arrange the potatoes neatly over the top of the hotpot in overlapping circles, leave the lid off and bake the hotpot for a further 30 minutes until the potatoes are starting to brown and crisp. Let the hotpot sit for 10 minutes before you serve it.
You could make this hotpot with any meat you like - tell me what one you'd use...