Traditional Lancashire Hotpot

Traditional Lancashire Hotpot recipe

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Lancashire Hotpot is a classic British dish that has stood the test of time. It’s a comforting, hearty casserole made with layers of tender stew meat, vegetables, and potatoes, all cooked slowly to perfection. This dish is perfect for cozy family dinners or gatherings, offering rich flavors and a satisfying meal.


  • 1 pound stew meat (lamb or beef)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preparation Steps

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Prepare the Meat:
    • In a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the stew meat and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Cook the Vegetables:
    • In the same skillet, add another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped onion and sliced carrots, cooking until the onions are softened and translucent.
  4. Make the Sauce:
    • Sprinkle the flour over the cooked vegetables and stir well to coat. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add Seasonings:
    • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, bay leaves, salt, and black pepper. Return the browned meat to the skillet, mixing well to combine everything.

Assembling the Hotpot

  1. Layer the Potatoes:
    • In a large casserole dish or the same skillet, arrange half of the sliced potatoes in an even layer on the bottom. Spoon the meat and vegetable mixture over the potatoes, spreading it out evenly.
  2. Top with Potatoes:
    • Arrange the remaining potato slices on top of the meat and vegetables, overlapping them slightly to create a neat pattern.
  3. Dot with Butter:
    • Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot them over the top layer of potatoes. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

Cooking the Hotpot

  1. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Remove the lid or foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the potatoes to brown and crisp on top.
  2. Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaves before serving. Let the hotpot rest for a few minutes before serving hot. Enjoy your Lancashire Hotpot with crusty bread or green vegetables on the side.

Cook’s Notes and Variations

  • Meat Variations: Traditional Lancashire Hotpot is made with lamb, but you can use beef or even a mix of meats. Lamb shoulder or neck fillets work best.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add other root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, or swedes for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like rosemary or parsley can be added for extra aroma and taste.
  • Stock: Beef or vegetable stock can be used instead of chicken stock for a different flavor profile.
  • Butter Substitute: Use olive oil or a mix of butter and oil for a lighter version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I make Lancashire Hotpot ahead of time? A: Yes, Lancashire Hotpot can be made ahead of time. Assemble the dish and refrigerate it before baking. When ready to serve, bake it as directed, adding extra time if needed to ensure it’s heated through.

Q: Can I freeze Lancashire Hotpot? A: Yes, you can freeze Lancashire Hotpot. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in foil and plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven.

Q: What should I serve with Lancashire Hotpot? A: Lancashire Hotpot is a complete meal on its own, but it pairs well with crusty bread, a side of green vegetables like peas or broccoli, and a fresh green salad.

Q: Can I use a slow cooker for this recipe? A: Yes, you can use a slow cooker. Follow the steps up to assembling the hotpot, then transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked through.

Q: What kind of potatoes should I use? A: Use starchy potatoes like Russets for a fluffier texture, or waxy potatoes like Yukon Golds for a creamier texture. Both work well in this recipe.

Lancashire Hotpot is a timeless, hearty dish that brings warmth and comfort to the table. With its rich flavors and tender ingredients, it’s a perfect meal for family dinners or special occasions. Enjoy this traditional British favorite and savor the delicious layers of meat, vegetables, and crispy potatoes.

Embrace the classic flavors of Lancashire Hotpot, a dish that offers both comfort and tradition. Whether you’re making it for a family meal or a gathering with friends, this hotpot is sure to impress and satisfy. Happy cooking!

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