Mutton hotpot with pickled red cabbage

Mark Hix makes a warming wintry dish but youll need to start making it a year in advance to get the maximum flavour from the cabbage!
By Mark Hix
Mutton hotpot with pickled red cabbage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus minimum 4 weeks maturing
  • Effort: medium


For the pickled red cabbage

  • 1 litres red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp pickling spices
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 heads red cabbage, quartered and finely shredded

For the hotpot

  • 1 kg lamb or mutton, cut into large chunks
  • flour, for dusting
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
  • 500 g onions, thinly sliced
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 800 ml lamb or beef stock
  • 1 kg potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced


1. For the pickled red cabbage: several weeks ahead make the pickled red cabbage. In a non-reactive pan, bring the vinegar to the boil with the pepper, pickling spice, sugar and salt, and leave to cool.

2. Mix the shredded cabbage into the cooled pickling liquid in a non-reactive bowl and leave in the fridge overnight.

3. The next day, pack the cabbage into sterilized jars and top up with the vinegar. Seal the jars and store in a cool place for a minimum of 4 weeks, or up to 12 months.

4. For the hotpot: preheat the oven to 220C/gas 8. Season the pieces of lamb and dust with flour. Heat half the vegetable oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the lamb, a few pieces at a time, on a high heat until nicely coloured.

5. Clean the pan, and heat the remaining oil, and fry the onions on a high heat until they begin to colour. Add the butter and continue to cook until the onions soften. Dust them with a tablespoon of flour, stir well and gradually add the lamb stock, stirring to avoid lumps, then sprinkle in the thyme. Bring to the boil, season, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

6. To assemble the hot pot, take an oven-proof casserole dish with a lid, cover the bottom with a layer of potatoes, followed by a layer of meat with a little sauce, then another layer of potatoes. Continue until the meat and sauce has all been used up. Finish the top with a nice layer of overlapping potato slices. Brush the top with a little of the sauce and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 130C/ gas 1/2 and leave in the oven for 2 hours.

7. Remove the lid from the dish and turn the oven back up to 220C/gas 8. Brush the top of the hot pot with a little melted butter and return to the oven to allow the potatoes to brown for half an hour.

8. Serve piping hot, with the pickled red cabbage.

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