Hotpot in the 21st century
In order to recreate a traditional Lancashire Hotpot with flair, Nigel still had to cook a simple peasant dish but utilise some of the finest produce from his repertoire of producers and growers.
He could not afford to produce a hotpot that had dull and bland lamb, tasteless onions and potatoes that fell apart in the slow cooking process. In order to ensure this would be a quality hotpot, Nigel set about working with Bowland Forest meats to develop the perfect lamb for the job, one with true taste and tenderness. The Heather Reared Bowland Lamb was the perfect answer. For Nigel a visit to Jim Curwen’s Marshaw Farm, along with the beauty of the heather clad hills and the freedom of the lambs endorsed why the flavours of Bowland Lamb are truly great and therefore the perfect match for Nigel’s Hotpot. Further research went into finding the perfect English onion, along with many trips to local farms in the Rufford and Hesketh Bank area for the ideal potato. Having found all the ingredients, care, understanding and passion brought the ultimate Hotpot into reality and Nigel now believes this is a dish that can really be taken seriously.
An essential part of being able to produce such a traditional dish at Northcote was the ability to cook the Hotpot in a slow traditional manner that will reemphasise all its heritage. To re-create this in a commercial kitchen, Nigel was delighted to incorporate a Dark Blue Aga Rayburn into his modern kitchen.
The final piece of the jigsaw was for Nigel to find a Hotpot dish that was made in a traditional way, hand thrown from stoneware clay to re-create a genuine Hotpot. Nigel turned to the experience and knowledge of the University of Central Lancashire for guidance in his quest, who designed a pot, which is now used in the restaurant today.