Lancashire Hot Pot!! English comfort food at its best!! Imagine the comforting aroma of slow-cooked lamb, mingling with caramelized onions and potatoes, wafting through your kitchen!
Lancashire hotpot is the epitome of comfort food, sure to warm your soul on any day of the year. It is a delectably slow-cooked casserole, traditionally made with rich gravy made with cuts of lamb or mutton and then topped with a layer of sliced potatoes.
As it bakes, the potatoes on top become beautifully crisp and golden, making a perfect contrast to the succulent meat beneath. It’s about time to taste this culinary classic that hails from the North West of England.
English food is very intriguing and different. We found that on our 5 weeks stint in England last year. But boy we loved it all.
We tried their rich and savory stews as well, and wanted to present some of them to our readers. This Lancashire Hot Pot is just right to start on some of the classics from the Queen’s land. It’s one of the best meat and potato dishes you’ll ever eat.
You can make this hearty dish from start with uncooked lamb or mutton, or you can make it with any leftover roast lamb meat you have in your refrigerator or freezer. We will give you both methods.
We cooked Greek lamb Kleftiko some time back, and had a lot of leftover lamb in the freezer. We couldn’t have had any better secondary meal with leftover roast lamb than this one pot hearty casserole.
Believe me, just for this hotpot, you will want to cook a huge portion of lamb next time. It’s that GOOD!!
Why Lancashire Hot Pot is a Beloved Dish in England
- Comfort Food: Like many slow-cooked dishes, the Lancashire hotpot epitomizes comfort. Its warm, hearty nature makes it perfect for cold days.
- One Pot Meal: Using a dutch oven for this recipe makes it a one pot meal, meaning less dishes to clean later.
- Flavor Depth: The slow cooking process allows for the flavors to meld beautifully. The lamb or mutton becomes tender, absorbing the rich flavors of the stock, onions and carrots while the potatoes on top get crispy.
- Simplicity: Despite its rich flavor, Lancashire hotpot is made with simple, easily accessible ingredients. It showcases how basic ingredients can transform into something truly delicious.
- Tradition and Heritage: For those from the Lancashire region or even the broader UK, the hotpot is a dish steeped in history and regional pride. For the rest of us, it’s a great introduction to British food.
- Versatility: While there’s a traditional way to prepare it, the hotpot can be adapted to suit different tastes, with some adding vegetables or using different cuts of meat.
- Wholesomeness: It’s a complete meal in one pot! You’ve got your protein from the meat, carbs from the potatoes, and a range of flavors from the onions and stock.
What is Lancashire Hotpot?
Lancashire hotpot is a a beloved classic from the North West of England, particularly the county of Lancashire. Traditionally made with tender cuts of lamb or mutton, often the rich neck, shoulder or shank, this savory stew is layered with thinly sliced potatoes.
Meat stew with onion and carrots lie at the base, while a layer of potatoes crowns the top. As it undergoes its slow-cooked transformation in the oven, the top potatoes crisp to a golden hue, while the insides meld into a moist, flavorful medley.
Lancashire hotpot is believed to have originated during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th to early 19th century. This places the dish at around 200 to 250 years old.
It was developed as a convenient dish for the working-class families of Lancashire, England, who needed a hearty meal that could be left cooking for extended periods while they worked in the factories. The Lancashire hotpot, with its ability to be slow-cooked over several hours, fit the bill perfectly.
It was a way for families, especially those of modest means, to utilize cheaper cuts of lamb or mutton, such as the neck or shank. When these cuts were slow-cooked, they transformed into tender, flavorful morsels, making a hearty and filling meal.
The term “hotpot” is believed to have been derived from the earthenware pot it was traditionally cooked in. Over time, the hotpot became synonymous with the region and remains a beloved traditional dish to this day.
Lancashire Hot Pot Ingredients
- Olive oil and butter – This combo adds the depth of flavor. Butter will be divided to cook as well as to brush over the potatoes.
- Veggies – Onion and carrots.
- Flour and chicken stock – To make gravy.
- Lamb – We used leftover roast lamb for an easier version of Lancashire Hot Pot, but we are also giving you a method to cook it from scratch too. You can use mutton as well, instead of lamb for this recipe. Simply cut it into bite sized pieces.
- Seasonings – Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Potatoes – We used Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 2-3mm thick.
Easy Lancashire Hotpot Recipe
1. Prepare the Oven: Preheat it to 325F (170°C).
2. Sauté Veggies: In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and carrot, sautéing for 4-5 minutes until they begin to tenderize.
3. Build the Gravy: Stir in the flour for a minute. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring continuously. Add the bite-sized lamb chunks, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Allow the mix to simmer for a few moments, then remove from heat.
4. Layer the Potatoes: Over your lamb and gravy mixture, arrange your sliced potatoes. Start from the outer edge and work your way towards the center.
5. Season & Bake: Brush melted butter over the potatoes and sprinkle with dried thyme. Cover the pot with a lid or foil and bake for an hour. If the potatoes haven’t crisped and browned, uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until they achieve a golden hue.
6. Serve & Enjoy: Once out of the oven, let the hotpot rest for 5 minutes before serving. Dive in and savor the flavors of Lancashire!
Lancashire Hotpot Recipe from Uncooked Lamb
1. Brown the Lamb: Cut your lamb into bite-sized pieces. In a pot, heat some butter and oil, and brown the lamb pieces evenly. Once done, set them aside on a plate.
2. Sauté the Veggies: If required, melt a tad more butter in the pot. Add diced onions and carrot chunks, sautéing for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
3. Build the Base: Sprinkle in the flour and stir for about a minute, ensuring the veggies are well-coated. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring continuously. Add the browned lamb back into the pot and season with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Mix everything well and let it simmer gently.
4. Braise: Once the mixture starts bubbling gently, cover the pot with a lid and transfer to a preheated oven at 325°F. Cook for 30 minutes.
5. Add potatoes: After the initial cooking time, take the pot out and arrange sliced potatoes on top, starting from the edges and spiraling inwards towards the center.
6. Final Bake: Brush melted butter over the potatoes and sprinkle dried thyme. Cover the pot, either with its lid or aluminum foil, and return to the oven for another hour. If after this time, the potatoes aren’t crispy and golden, remove the cover and bake for an extra 10-15 minutes.
7. Rest & Serve: Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Serve this delightful hotpot and watch the faces light up with joy!
Tips and Tricks for BEST Lancashire Hot Pot:
- Choice of Meat: Traditionally, mutton is used in a Lancashire hotpot. But if mutton is hard to find, lamb is an excellent substitute. If you’re looking for a richer flavor, opt for neck or shoulder cuts. Making this hot pot from leftover roast lamb is a genius and most delicious idea to make an excellent secondary meal out of your leftovers.
- Browning is Key: If using uncooked lamb, ensure you brown the meat well before slow cooking. This enhances the meat’s flavor and gives the gravy a richer color.
- Potato Perfection: For that iconic crispy top, thinly slice your potatoes and arrange them carefully. A mandolin slicer can ensure uniformity. Remember, the thinner the slices, the crispier they’ll become! Slicing then to 2-3mm thick is ideal.
- Herb Enhancements: While we are using bay leaves and thyme today, you can try other herbs like rosemary or sage for an added depth of flavor.
- Final Crisp: If your potatoes aren’t crisping up as desired, you can place the hotpot under a broiler for a short time or bake it uncovered. But keep a close eye to avoid burning them!
Leftovers and Storing
This leftover lamb Lancashire hot pot can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Since you’re using leftover roast lamb, the combined time the lamb has spent both as a roast and then in the hotpot needs to be considered.
If using fresh lamb, it can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
To freeze, let the hotpot cool completely. Portion it into meal-sized quantities in freezer-safe bags or airtight containers. Freeze for up to 2 months.
To reheat, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stove or in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
When you think of a dish that warms the heart and fills the belly, all while carrying a rich history, it’s easy to see why Lancashire hotpot is a cherished favorite for so many.
Try it when you crave a special culinary delight, all the way from others side of the Atlantic!
Lancashire Hotpot, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1½ Tbsp flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1½lbs roast lamb, or any leftover cooked lamb, cut into bite sized chunks (see note for starting with uncooked lamb)
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1½lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 2-3mm thick
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Preheat the oven to 325F (170°C).
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large, wide dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot to the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until the onion and the carrots are beginning to become tender.
- Add flour and sauté for a minute. Add chicken broth and stir it well for a minute. Add lamb along with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Mix well. Simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat.
- Top the lamb and gravy mixture with the sliced potatoes. Start from the outside, and layer the potatoes, moving towards the center.
- Brush the top of the potatoes with the melted butter and sprinkle on the dried thyme. Cover with a lid or foil and bake it the oven for 1 hour. If potatoes don't crisp up and brown, uncover and bake it for another 10-15 minutes, till they get a nice brown color and crisp up a bit. (You can alternately broil it to get the color)
- Remove from the oven when done and allow the hotpot to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- You can make the same recipe with uncooked lamb also. Simply cut the lamb into bite size pieces and brown them in butter and oil. Plate it out.
- Melt a little more butter if needed and add the onion and carrot to the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until the onion and the carrots are beginning to become tender.
Add flour and sauté for a minute. Add chicken broth and stir it well for a minute. Add lamb along with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Mix well. Simmer till it bubbles gently. Then place a lid on it and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 325°F.
- After 30 minutes, top with the sliced potatoes. Start from the outside, and layer the potatoes, moving towards the centre.
- Brush the top of the potatoes with the melted butter and sprinkle on the dried thyme. Cover with a lid or foil and bake it in oven for 1 hour. If the potatoes don't crisp up and brown, uncover and bake it for another 10-15 minutes, till they get nice brown color and crisp up a bit. (You can alternately broil it to get the color)
Remove from the oven when done and allow the hotpot to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 545Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 132mgSodium 376mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 38g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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