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American Lamb Hot Pot

1 large leg of lamb, or 2 small ones (the joints must be large enough
to give 3 lb meat when cut from the bone)
4 tablespoons plain flour (sifted with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper)
2 tablespoons dripping
4 large onions (finely chopped)
4 tablespoons tomato purse
4 pints jellied stock
1 lb mushrooms
3-4 lb large potatoes
2 oz butter
Grated Parmesan cheese (for dusting)

Cut the meat from the bone into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes. (Perhaps the
butcher will do this ; if so, remember to ask him for the bone,
from which you can make your stock.) Set the oven at 325- For Mark
3. Roll the meat in the sifted flour, heat the dripping in a large
flameproof casserole and, when hot, fry the meat until well sealed
and golden-brown on all sides.

When all the meat is well coloured, add the finely chopped onions
to the pan, cover and lower the heat. Leave to cook until the onion
has lost its hard white look and is well softened. Shake the pan
and stir from time to time. Work in the tomato purse and the stock
and bring to the boil. Add a little extra salt and pepper if
necessary, then cover the pan tightly and cook in the pre-set oven
for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Meanwhile, wash, trim and quarter mushrooms, add them to hot pot
at end of cooking time and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.
Prepare as far as this the day before the party and turn into a
large mixing bowl to allow the meat to COOL quickly, or into open
casseroles, or gratin dishes, ready for reheating.

The following day scrub the potatoes and steam, or boil, in their
skins until tender. Peel while still hot, holding each potato in
a tea cloth to prevent burning fingers, and cut into 1/2 inch
slices. Arrange these overlapping to form a cover to the meat.
Brush the potatoes with melted butter, dust with a very little
Parmesan cheese and bake in a pre-set oven, at 375F or Mark 5,
for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are crusty and brown.


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