Recipe courtesy of Debbie Travis, Host, Debbie Travis’ Facelift.This is an inexpensive but hardy and nutritious meal that originated from the Lancashire cotton industry. It is easy to make but requires a long, slow cooking time. Traditionally, women would prepare the meal in the morning, put it into the oven, and it would be ready when they returned home at the end of a long day, ideal for the poor mill workers and miners of the area. Legend states that the level of a woman’s mastery or skill at making a hot pot determined the marriage prospects of her daughters. Yield is 6 servings.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Trim lamb of any excess fat and wipe with paper towel.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. butter on medium-high heat and add the lamb, 2-3 pieces at a time.
In batches, cook the lamb for 5 minutes per side or until crusty and brown.
Transfer the lamb to a platter.
Heat 1 tbsp. butter in the frying pan on medium heat and add the onions.
Cook the onions for about 10 minutes or until soft and caramelized.
Stir in the flour to soak up the juices, then gradually add the hot water and Worcestershire sauce, stirring or whisking until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the bay leaf and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring it to a simmer.
Create layers in the hot pot by putting 1/4 of the cooked lamb in the bottom of a 12-cup casserole or Dutch oven.
Pour 1/4 of the onion mixture over the meat in the casserole and top with a layer of potatoes, overlapping them like shingles on a roof.
Continue layering the meat, onion mixture, and potatoes until all the ingredients are used up.
The top layer should be a thin layer of overlapping potatoes.
Season the potatoes and dot with butter.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on the top shelf of the oven for about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes longer.
Turn on the broiler.
Dot the potatoes with a little more butter and broil the casserole until the top is crisp and brown.