Sometimes the best new inspirations for comfort food this time of year come from the old world. A dish we've been loving lately is just that. It's called a "hot pot" and it hails from the UK.
Basically it's a thick stew of meat (we use lamb here, but you can easily substitute beef), carrots and onions, seasoned with some dark beer and our Gentleman's Shake and covered by a layer of thinly sliced potatoes that give it a delicious crispy top crust.
Serve it with a side of green peas of other steamed veggies and you've got a wonderfully satisfying dish for the cool October evenings. A nice dark ale or sturdy red wine is a great accompaniment as well. Enjoy!
-2 Tbsp butter
-1.5 lbs lamb or beef stew meat cut into small chunks
-2 medium yellow onions sliced thin
-1 heading Tbsp of all purpose flour
-1/2 cup dark beer such as New Castle Brown Ale
-1 cup chicken stock
-1 heaping Tbsps J. Brady's The Gentleman's Shake British Seasoning (can substitute 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce)
-3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
-1.5 lbs. russet potatoes peeled and sliced thinly (1/4") into rounds
(You will need a large oven proof cast iron or Dutch oven pan such as la crusett, lodge, etc..)
Melt half the butter in the bottom of the pan. Once melted and hot, brown all the meat in the pan and remove once browned to a bowl to reserve meat and drippings. In the same pan cook the onions and carrots together until sweating/translucent. Sprinkle over the flour until mixed well. Pour in the beer, chicken stock, and seasoning and return the meat and any drippings back into the pan. Mix well, cover, and turn to a low simmer for 1 hour. Once it has cooked for 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn the stove heat off the pan after the hour is up. Layer the thin rounds of potatoes in an overlapping thin layer over the stew (1-2 layers deep not too thick). Note: the stew should not be too wet or liquidy or the potatoes won't brown well. Dot the potatoes with the remaining 1 Tbsps. of butter and put into the oven uncovered for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are browned and crisped on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven, let sit for 10 minutes and enjoy!
Photo credit: JJ Hall: https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_junes/6494705891