Tuesday, 16 October 2018

#readcookeat recipe : Lancashire Hotpot (Petals and Stones)

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my review for Petals and Stone by Joanne Burn, in which Uma discovers that her husband was cheating on her just a few hours before he dies in a crash, on his way home to talk to her. Having already lost both of her parents, this hits her hard, and she takes off to a friend's battered seaside home, to lick her wounds and decide where to go from here on. 

As Uma's mother was Indian, Uma has a deliciously exotic culinary heritage to work through, such as this recipe :

p15 If she stared into the fire for long enough, concentrating on the familiarity of the sofa beneath her, she could almost smell the coconut and cardamom from her mother's breakfast paniyaram, or hear the tapping of her father's typewriter in the other room.

I did investigate some of the Asian dishes, but they didn't sound like things that the kids would be interested in trying, so I ended up being won over by something much more typically British :

p80 'I've made a Lancashire hotpot for tea,' said Mary, bending to open the oven door, grabbing a tea towel and pulling out the baking dish to inspect its progress. 'Half an hour?'
'Shall we see if Ruth and the girls want to come over too?'
'I'm not sure they'll eat hotpot,' said Mary, running a hand through her short silver hair. 'You know how fussy they are.'
'They could have fish fingers. I have fish fingers in the freezer."

That sounded perfect, but as I wasn't that familiar with the dish, I went to investigate and discovered that it is made with lamb. Well, the Madhouse kids aren't keen on lamb, so I switched meats and made it with pork instead. Maybe not very authentic, but it certainly filled a hole !

Lancashire Hotpot

ingredients :

drizzle of olive oil
1 onion
600g pork (or lamb, if you want to be traditional)
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
gravy powder
5-6 potatoes
a few knobs of butter

Switch on the oven to preheat to 180°. Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion. I have a frying pan with a clip on handle that can go straight in the oven, but you may need to transfer the meat and sauce to an ovenproof dish otherwise.

Add the chopped pork and cook until it is nice and brown on the outside. I cooked it through all the way to be on the safe side, but you could leave it to finish off in the oven. Sprinkle over some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Mix up some boiling water and gravy granules and pour over the top. Give it all a quick stir. I filled the dish almost to the top so that it didn't dry out during cooking, but the layer of potatoes kept it all nice and moist anyway.

It's up to you if you peel your potatoes or not - I decided not to, both for saving time and also getting some extra fibre into the kids' diets ! Chop them into slices a few millimetres thick, so that they cook quickly and lay them out across the top of the dish. Add a few small knobs of butter.

Put in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and nicely browned on top. If they start going too brown, add a sheet of foil over the top. Once it's cooked, tuck in, along with a side dish of your favourite vegetable. (We opted for peas and carrots and the kids wolfed it down.)

Adding to the #readcookeat linky over at Chez Maximka.


  1. Perfect comfort food for a cold weather. The potatoes on top look so appetizing. Sorry, I didn't do the linky for October, I'll try my best for the start of November.

    1. No problem - I don't know where the last few weeks went, I've hardly had any time to do anything, including cooking ! xx

  2. Oooh, I've never seen it done with pork. Sounds yummy. I'm a Lancashire Lass myself and in my childhood beef was a lot cheaper than lamb, so a lot of people made it with beef, and I still do on occasion. When money was really tight my Mum used to make it with a tin of corned beef! I've not made it that way but I can remember enjoying it.

    1. Oooh corned beef - that sounds like something the kids would love. I'll have to remember that one ! :)

  3. Only ever had this as a ready meal, yours looks much tastier

  4. I really like hotpot, but I haven't made it in a very long time. Thanks for the recipe!


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