Spicy Lamb Hot Pot


Recipe three is from 500 Recipes for Casserole Dishes by Catherine Kirkpartick (this impression is from 1969). Published by Paul Hamlyn the book is from a series of ‘500 Dishes for..’ books, I also have 500 Recipes for Mixers and Blenders in my collection, and amongst the others published were 500 Recipes for Slimmers,and 500 Recipes for Home-made Wines and Drinks. Both the books I have are somewhat battle-weary, yellowing glue and musty dry pages – these books look like they’ve been well used, and indeed the contents are mainly decent standard recipes – good on their own but also with a lot of potential for improvisation and ingredient substitution – a quality that usually means a book will be referred to often.

I was initially hunting for a vegetable stew to make but none were quite what I was looking for, indeed a lot of the recipes in the ‘Vegetable, Egg and Cheese Casseroles’ chapter would not pass muster with any vegetarians, as they involve loads of meat. The picture below, if you can make it out shows a few of the so-called ‘vegetable’ casseroles. The ones that didn’t include meat mainly involve cheese or eggs, neither of which appeal to me in casserole form (the ‘Marrow Savoury’ looked ok but I couldn’t find a marrow..)


So I delved into the meat chapters, and contemplated Beef Cobbler, Canadian Steak, Crusty Beef Stew, Priest’s Goulash, Veal Marengo, Pork and Quince Casserole, Kidney Espagnole, Liver Bonne Femme, Braised Sheep’s Tongues, Hacienda Chicken, Braised Grouse, Pigeon with Cherries, Cod Bolognese and Casseroled Eels before finally settling on Spicy Lamb Hot Pot, as this sounded quite easy.

Spicy Lamb Hot Pot (4 portions)

1.5-2lb of best end neck lamb

1oz fat

2 medium sized onions, peeled and chopped

1/2 clove garlic

1-2 sticks celery, chopped

3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon mixed spice

2oz rice

stock or water

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt, pepper

1. Trim meat, remove excess fat and cut into pieces.

2. Heat fat and brown meat, then put into a casserole.

3. Add onion and garlic to remaining fat and fry till lightly browned. Put with meat.

4. Add remaining vegetables and spices.

5. Wash rice and mix with other ingredients.

6. Add stock or water to barely cover.

7. Cover and cook in a slow oven (350F/ Gas Mark 2) for about 2 hours.

8. Correct seasoning before serving and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

The results


Notes etc

  • It was delicious – lovely soft meat, fairly subtle seasoning, and nicely done veg, and a good sauce
  • I’ve never cooked with neck of lamb before, and I’d definitely do it again. My local organic butcher was only able to give me 3/4lb of it though, so I actually made half this amount.
  • I forgot the green pepper, so I doubled the celery and chucked an extra tomato in (I don’t actually like cooked peppers that much, so I think my subconscious made me ‘forget’ it).
  • I forgot to peel the tomato.
  • I didn’t add salt or pepper, as I don’t usually feel I need it.
  • I used water, as I haven’t made any stock lately.
  • I put the oven at 150c as a guess, cos I didn’t have the laptop on to convert from fahrenheit – this is actually a bit lower than the instructions. However I managed to knock the dial up to 200c for about 30 mins before I noticed – I was concerned this might dry it out but instead it added some nice lightly browned bits to the meat.


Would definitely make this again – it was stupidly easy to prepare, and yielded a big dish full of hearty hearty stew. The ‘Spicy’ of the name is misleading as it’s as mild as can be, which could be expected from something with hardly any spices in! It’s also shown me that less obvious cuts of meat can be as tasty and easy to find as the ones you get down the supermarket.

Cooked by Alix


10 responses to “Spicy Lamb Hot Pot

  1. Impossible to make hot pot look pretty? I love the way that paprika seemed to be the only spice of choice for such a long time. I have always tended to feel fairly “meh” about paprika, and don’t think I even own any – despite my spice cupboard GROANING with all sorts of stuff.

  2. Didn’t I find this book for you? I think it was from the RSPCA shop on the Hornsey Rd.

    This recipe is in need of far more seasoning – atleast two cloves of garlic, maybe some lemon zest and/or cumin.

  3. vintagecooking

    Yes – I believe you did.

    Everything can always do with more garlic. My impulse was to put about 3 times as much in but I restrained myself and stuck to the recipe..

  4. Aged Home Economist

    I am so pleased you are rediscovering old recipes. I worked for Cathy Kirkpatrick in the 60’s, at Brown and Polson Test Kitchens in London (part of Corn Products of America then, so we also promoted Mazola Corn Oil) . She was a lovely person and meticulous about testing recipes. Please remind your readers that in the 60’s the British palate had only just discovered Spaghetti Bolognaise, so to actually include garlic, paprika and green pepper was very adventurous! It is probably only thanks to Elizabeth David that we dared try any of them. Sadly , having moved to Australia I no longer have many of my old cookery books, but at Brown and Polson we did produce”The shop-and cook-book” and The no-time-to cook-book” , both of which I still have, as I prepared much of the food photographed. The designer and publisher, Spectator Publications, used two very good innovative photographers, whose used pictures used ideas, views and angles far more interesting than what was then the usual “food on a plate” view. Fore runners of some of today’s amazing food photography which is a joy. If you can find them still, you may enjoy them and some of the recipes. All good wishes with your site.

  5. Aha! I have those two cookbooks (No-time . . . & shop-and-cook). They were indeed a departure from the elaborate-if-trusty Cordon Bleu School style, and much admired. Were they intended to appeal to schoolchildren studying Home Economics, attempting to update the subject and its image?

  6. Aged Home Economist, thank you so much for your interesting comment.

    This was one of our earliest posts and I wonder if we weren’t a bit harsh in our assessment of the recipe – 1 onion per lb of meat now looks well-seasoned to me, compared to some other recipes which I’ve seen.

  7. Aged Home Economist

    Thank you so much Salada and Elly for your kind replies – having found this lovely website I shall visit often – may be aged, but can’t bear to stop cooking!

    Elly, another excellent book you should look out for is the “Very Best Bread Book” by Patricia Jacobs, published 1975 by Harwood Smart Publishing Co. This just gets into your time criteria and is a little gem, beautifully laid out, very accurate and a huge range of fun breads – proper bread, none of that breadmaker mix stuff!

    Salada, I am so delighted you have those two books and specially recommend Gateau Louise, P56, in SACB, if you are a chocoholic, (I have to produce that for every family celebration) and also the cold Lemon Souffle on P 12.

    The primary object of the books was really to promote the group products. Although there are no brand names in the recipes you will find the following products figure prominently – cornflour ,corn oil, stock cubes, packet soup, packet sauce mix , which was a completely new venture at that time, and Worcester Sauce. The Group owned Brown and Polson, Mazola, Knorr-Swiss, Lea and Perrins, Escoffier Sauces and the Frank Cooper Jams and Marmalades. All excellent products to work with and easily included in new recipes, but I don’t know how many are still in use in UK now. If you look at the old fashioned grocer’s counter display on P47 you will see these products got excellent publicity. (Moderator please edit these names out if it is advertising but wasn’t meant to be.)
    The best days were when we did the big butcher shop, fruit and veg stall photos as, by the end of a long hard day in the studio, it all had to be used up so we went home laden with goodies!

    We really wanted the recipes to be easy to follow and clear so there were very strict rules on the correct format for writing recipes – all ingredients in order of use, all abbreviations standard, all instructions step by step and simple, oven temperatures Gas and Electric, all baking times specified or within short range. Things you would expect and take for granted now, but were by no means standard then.

    At the end of all the work, the publishers took the home economists to Holland to actually see our books being printed and have first copies.
    Oh dear, you’ve woken a sleeping dragon – my apologies for such along post, – it was a wonderful time and enormous fun.

  8. Mmmmm – Gateau Louise looks good, and unusual. I am amused by the assumption that the average household might have six 8″ sandwich tins available, and that they need no preparation (greasing, lining?) before being smeared with a raw chocolate pastry mixture. I know the theory that pastry contains enough fat to do its own greasing, but the sugar/choc addition could cause adhesion.
    I did notice the heavy “product placement” in the recipes and pictures.

  9. Salada, you are quite right, everyone would have two tins, though, because the dreaded Victoria Sandwich or Jam Sponge Cake were absolute musts for any afternoon tea!
    It is much easier to do the cake layers in pairs anyway, as they have to be watched to prevent overbrowning. Truly, do not grease, and paper would not work. Note you are using INVERTED tins, ie the underside, when tin turned upside-down, so when cooked each layer can be carefully and fairly easily slid onto a cooling rack. If you grease it would make it difficult to spread the sticky paste mixture. This may seem a strange way to cook the layers but it actually works well. I have tried to do the layers on a flat baking sheet, but the mix is sticky and very hard to shape. Also they are very very difficult to lift off in one piece.
    There was an old rule of thumb about greasing tins which usually holds true – recipe with half fat to flour or less need to grease tins, more than half fat to flour no need to grease.
    These comments must make Gateau Louise sound very peculiar,and it is time consuming, but fun to make and supremely chocolatey. I usually make the cake layers a day or so ahead and keep in airproof container separated by greaseproof or baking paper.

  10. Yes, I did notice the inverted bit, and I believe you that the mixture doesn’t stick – after all, you’ve made the dish umpteen times. A quick count (in my head) tells me that I probably have at least 6 victoria sandwich tins, but they are not all the same diameter and depth. I could make ‘Louise’ styled on the pagoda, and will bear it in mind for a suitable occasion.