As I'm writing this on St Andrew's Day perhaps I should be offering a recipe for neeps and tatties, stovies or haggis. Well I'm not it is a variation on Lancashire Hotpot or Panacaldy as it is called in the north east.
As this is an adaptation I don't propose to produce the whole recipe. The concept of a hotpot is quite straight forward. Layers of potato separating vegetables, usually carrots, and meat finishing with potatoes on the top.
The meat used is usually lamb although when Mum made it in the fifties, money and meat could be scarce at times and so she would use bacon or corned beef. They all worked quite well in place of the mutton which was more usual than the juvenile sheep preferred today.
I fried off an onion and set to one side then did the same with chunks of lamb shoulder to seal, not to cook. Then I acquired four lamb's kidneys which were duly sliced and fried off in oil.
The layers were built up beginning with potato, onion, carrots a bay leaf then the lamb and kidneys. I finished each layer off with slices of black pudding and a sprinkling of sage. Then back to potato and each layer was seasoned with black pepper and salt. To provide liquid to enable the vegetables to cook I used chicken stock but vegetable stock would have done equally well. It doesn't need to be too dark a stock as the black pudding provides plenty of richness.
The final result was very tasty indeed if I say so myself.
Now to more exciting matters, well more exciting for me - my 10th novel will be available this week. I have received corrected proof copies from my faithful proofreaders and by the end of the day will have uploaded a revised manuscript to the publisher. At the same time I will upload to Amazon and Smashwords so 'Flight into Secrecy' will be released to the public from tomorrow in ebook format.
The book has been described by the proofreaders as the best I've written so far, which may not be saying too much, but also a very plausible explanation as to what happened to Malaysian Flight MH370 in March 2014.
A great gift for Christmas.