This is a variation on the classic Lancashire Hotpot which is usually made with lamb. It is easy to prepare and takes about 2 hours to slowly cook in the oven which, gives you plenty of time to get up to all sorts of mischief. When cooked, the meat will be soft and tender and the sauce will mouth watering. Its best served with baby spinach or other fresh greens.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Toss the meat in the flour so it is well coated, I usually do this in a small plastic bag.
- Place a large, deep non-stick frying pan on the stove, pour in enough olive oil just to cover the bottom and heat until the oil is hot.
- Fry the meat in three batches until well coloured on all sides, adding more oil to the pan if needed. Remove the last batch of meat from the pan, turn down the heat to medium and then fry the onion, carrots and garlic until coloured.
- Return the meat to the pan and pour in the hot stock. Add a good grind of Salt and pepper, 2 dessertspoons of the fresh thyme leaves and stir well. Remove from the heat and pour the contents into an oven proof dish.
- Arrange the potatoes on top of the beef and vegetables, overlapping slightly. Brush the potatoes with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining thyme leaves.
- Cover the dish witha lid or foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour, then uncover and cook for a further hour until the meat feels tender when pierced with the tip of a small, sharp knife.
- Serve with baby spinach or other green vegetables.