THERE’S a nip in the air, but a warm feeling about top chef Paul Ellis’ winter hot pot, the perfect sustenance as the temperature dips.
Wherever possible, Paul uses local ingredients, such as the South Downs lamb in his hot pot, or fresh fish landed in his home town of Littlehampton.
four South Downs lamb neck chops, plain flour, for dredging, two tbspn of olive oil, three onions, peeled and cut into large dice, two to three large parsnips, peeled and cut into sixths, six large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half, salt and freshly ground black pepper, six to eight fresh rosemary sprigs, six to eight small potatoes, cut in half.
pre-heat the oven to 170C/350F/Gas 4.
Lightly dredge the lamb chops in the flour. Heat the oil in a shallow oven-proof pan with a lid, then add the lamb chops and cook until browned on both sides.
Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, parsnips and garlic to the same pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the rosemary.
Return the lamb chops to the pan, tuck the potatoes around the chops, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and pour in just enough water to cover the pan contents. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper the same size and shape as the inside of the pan. Place the paper circle over the lamb and vegetables, then cover the pan with the lid.
Cook in the preheated oven for an hour or so, until the meat is tender.
Paul Ellis, pictured, lives in Littlehampton. He has worked with many leading chefs and also runs courses with his Thyme and Thyme Again Cooking School.