We all enjoy rattling pans, creating complex, show stopping dishes to wow customers, busy, busy, lots going on, lots of things on a plate, different moves… it’s so exciting but everyday takes its toll on us and on the customer.
One pot cookery is a very different approach to taking multiple items last minute and creating a dish, this is mainly done in advance, ‘prep hard, service easy’. We get everything done in advance and add any finishing touches at the end.
There is something satisfying about chucking all the ingredients into a pot and waiting for the flavours to do their magic and blend to create something special, with often complexed flavours. It’s also great from a caterer’s point of view making a good gross profit, it’s already portioned out so one less thing to do in service, heat and serve, simple, and less washing up too.
One pot cooking is used all over the world so from a specials point of view it’s a ‘gift that keeps on giving’. Some British dishes are classic one pot cookery and probably dishes we would all know and love like:
Lancashire Hot Pot– the proper way served with pickled red cabbage and Lancashire cheese.
Toad-in-the-Hole – Good quality butchers’ sausages, roasted onion gravy.
Smoked Haddock Kedgeree– Brought to us by the British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and brought it back as a breakfast dish in Victorian times.
Fish Pie – Lesser known cuts of fish work well topped with a good Cheddar.
Corned Beef Hash– Slow cooked salt beef, rich and big in flavour topped bit a poached egg.
But as I said, dishes come at us from everywhere from the deep, smoky, tomato flavour of albondigas in Spain or, Coq Au Vin a classic from Burgundy in France and created for Julius Caesar to a tomato and chilli baked gnocchi topped with rich smoked scamorza. We can fine one pot cooking being used everywhere, big in flavour that leave us warm and fulfilled but still wanted just another fork full.
Kindly contributed by Steve Midgley Consulting Development Chef, 30 years experience in fine dinning, creating fantastic experiences at Michelin star restaurants.
Lancashire Hot Pot
Ingredients (serves 10)
- 200g Dripping or Butter
- 1800g Stewing Lamb (large chunks)
- 6x Lamb Kidney (Sliced, Fat Removed)
- 300g Onions (Chopped)
- 200g Carrots (Peeled & Sliced)
- 50g Plain Flour
- 30ml Worcestershire Sauce
- 1000ml Lamb Stock
- 3x Bay Leaves
- 1800g Potatoes ( Peeled and Sliced)
- Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
- Heat a little of the dripping or butter in a large shallow casserole dish or a thick based pan and brown stewing lamb chunks in batches, lift to a plate, then repeat with trimmed and sliced lamb kidneys.
- Fry the chopped onions and the peeled and sliced carrots in the pan with a little more dripping until golden.
- Sprinkle over the plain flour, allow to cook for a couple of mins, shake over Worcestershire sauce, pour in the lamb stock, then bring to the boil.
- Stir in the stewing lamb and kidneys and 2 bay leaves, then turn off the heat.
- Arrange peeled and sliced potatoes on top of the meat, then drizzle with a little more dripping.
- Cover, then place in the oven for about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are cooked.
- Remove the lid, brush the potatoes with a little more dripping, then turn the oven up to brown the potatoes, or finish under the grill for 5-8 mins until brown.