While I confess to having, in the past, watched Coronation Street with religious fervour I can’t say I have done so lately. It is simply “not the same” as it used to be. And the fact that TVNZ is moving it to a 5.30pm time slot means that it will undoubtedly be watched by even fewer.
So, forgive me for the fact that I have only just heard that one of the longest serving cast members, Betty Turpin, has died aged 91.
Betty, whose real name was Betty Driver, originally auditioned for the role of Hilda Ogden in 1964 after a very long and successful career on stage and radio. She was persuaded to come out of retirement in 1969 to take the role of Rovers Return barmaid Betty Turpin.
She became famous on the show for cooking Lancashire hotpot, but the funny thing was that in real life she never ate this dish because she didn’t like meat. In fact for someone who provided the pub meals in the Rovers Return she acted very well as she was a self-confessed lousy cook.
It seems only right that in honour of Betty Turpin’s long career and stalwart hotpot enthusiast that we should reproduce here a classic Lancashire hotpot recipe.
RIP Betty Driver.
- 100g dripping or butter
- 900g stewing lamb , cut into large chunks
- 3 lamb kidneys, sliced, fat removed
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 25g plain flour
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 500ml lamb or chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 900g potatoes, peeled and sliced
Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Heat some dripping or butter in a large shallow casserole dish, brown the lamb in batches, lift to a plate, then repeat with the kidneys.
Fry the onions and carrots in the pan with a little more dripping until golden. Sprinkle over the flour, allow to cook for a couple of mins, shake over the Worcestershire sauce, pour in the stock, then bring to the boil. Stir in the meat and bay leaves, then turn off the heat. Arrange the sliced potatoes on top of the meat, then drizzle with a little more dripping. Cover, then place in the oven for about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are cooked.
Remove the lid, brush the potatoes with a little more dripping, then turn the oven up to brown the potatoes, or finish under the grill for 5-8 mins until brown.
Serve with chips and red cabbage!