Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 4 – Hotpots: Nigel’s tour of the flavours of Britain takes him from the old classic Lancashire hotpot to three melt-in-the-mouth one-pot dishes with origins from around the world.
He meets Yasmin, whose special Iranian fesenjoon takers her back to her childhood in Iran, he gets a lesson in Brazil’s national dish feijoada from brothers Andre and Anderson, and he discovers the delicate flavours of a traditional Bangladeshi korma as he joins Enam and his family to celebrate Eid.
Inspired by their dishes, Nigel creates a luxurious bean hotpot bejewelled with beetroot and carrot.
Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 4 – Hotpots recipes:
This delicious Lancashire hotpot is so simple to make and so satisfying to eat – it will brighten up many a weekend.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3.
- Season the lamb chops with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the lamb chops for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned all over. Transfer the lamb chops to a medium casserole.
- Fry the carrot, celery and onion in the same frying pan for 4-5 minutes, or until coloured and softened.
- Stir the flour into the vegetables and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the flour turns a biscuit colour.
- Pour in the beef stock and stir well until the liquid has thickened and there are no visible lumps of flour.
- Transfer the vegetables and thickened stock to the casserole. Add 7 thyme sprigs and the bay leaf, then bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is just simmering.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
- Arrange the potato slices on top of the hotpot, overlapping the edges slightly. Brush the potato slices all over with the melted butter. Sprinkle the top with a few thyme leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme.
- Bake the hotpot in the oven for 1-1½ hours, or until the potato topping is crisp and golden-brown and the vegetables are tender.
This dish is a nutty Persian chicken stew that boasts deliciously subtle layers of flavour thanks to pomegranate molasses, tomatoes and spices.
- Grind the walnuts as finely as possible in a food processor until they have the consistency of peanut butter and the walnut crumbs are starting to stick together like a dough.
- Transfer the ground walnuts into a large, lidded casserole dish and pour over 1 litre/1¾ pints of the cold water. Bring the mixture to the boil for 4–5 minutes, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering.
- Simmer the walnut mixture, half-covered with the casserole lid, for 2 hours, adding the remaining 200ml/7fl oz of cold water and 2 ice cubesafter an hour. Stir occasionally throughout to make sure the walnuts don’t stick to the bottom of the casserole. After 2 hours, the walnut sauce should have thickened and darkened in colour.
- Stir in the pomegranate molasses, tomato purée, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper until well combined. Return the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the chicken thighs, return the mixture to a simmer, then place the lid on the dish and cook gently over a low heat for 1 hour. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken. Season, to taste, with more sugar (for sweet) or pomegranate molasses (for sour).
- Garnish the dish with a handful of pomegranate seeds, if using, and serve with steamed rice.
Feijoada – Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 4 recipe
This authentic Brazilian feijoada is a true meat feast packed with pork ribs, pork belly, sausages and bacon.
- Soak the black beans in 2 litres/3½ pints of cold water overnight.
- When the beans have soaked, heat half of the oil in a lidded frying pan (large enough to fit all the ribs in at once) over a medium heat.
- Season the smoked and unsmoked pork ribs all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the ribs for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until browned on both sides.
- Add the onion and garlic and continue to fry for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring well, until softened.
- Add 250ml/9fl oz water and bring it to a simmer, then cover the frying pan with the lid and cook for 18-20 minutes, topping up the pan with water as necessary if the liquid evaporates too quickly. Transfer the pan contents to a large casserole and set aside.
- Wipe the frying pan clean with kitchen paper, then heat the remaining oil over a medium heat. Fry the bacon, pork belly and sausage, in batches, until browned all over (do not overcrowd the pan). Transfer the browned meat to the casserole.
- Add the soaked black beans and the soaking liquid to the casserole and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering gently. Simmer, half-covered, for about 2½ hours, topping up the casserole with water every so often to prevent it from drying out. The feijoada is ready when the ribs are tender and the meat is almost falling off the bone.
- Just before serving, season the feijoada with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary, and with chill flakes, if desired.
Bangladeshi chicken korma
This slow-cooked chicken korma is more authentic than the rich restaurant style. The sweetness comes from caramelised onions rather than cream.
- Blend the garlic, ginger, vegetable oil and 4 tablespoons water to a purée in a food processor.
- Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Put the garlic and ginger purée and fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the cardamom pods, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.
- Add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly browned.
- Add the salt and 500ml/17fl oz water. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until it is simmering. Half-cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the water has nearly evaporated.
- Stir the onion mixture, then add another 500ml/17fl oz water. Simmer, half-covered, as before, for 12-15 minutes.
- Repeat this process 5 more times – this draws all of the natural sweetness from the onions and helps break them down to sweet and silky sauce.
- Add the chicken pieces and cover with 250ml/9fl oz water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the temperature until it is simmering. Cover the pan with the lid and cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. (The chicken is cooked through if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a skewer and no trace of pink remains.)
- Serve in bowls with steamed pilau rice.
Greengrocers’ hot pot
This hearty vegetarian take on the traditional hotpot has a pretty topping that contains plenty of hidden treasures.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140 fan/Gas 3.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium, shallow, lidded casserole over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden-brown.
- Add 500ml/18fl oz water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the water has all but evaporated.
- Heat another 4 tablespoons of the oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine pieces, in batches if necessary, and fry until lightly coloured on both sides – about 5-6 minutes (add more oil to the pan as necessary). Repeat the process with the courgette rounds. Set aside.
- Add the tomato halves to the stewed onions, then season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover the casserole with the lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Add the flageolet and haricot beans to the onions and tomatoes, then stir in the courgettes and aubergines.
- Melt the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the carrot ribbons until completely coated in the fat, then arrange them in a tangle on top of the casserole.
- Add the beetroot slices to the frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Arrange the beetroot slices among the tangled carrots. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
- Bake the hotpot in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the vegetables on top have turned crisp and golden-brown and the casserole has thickened. Serve.