Lancashire hotpot (vegetarian version)

A substantial artisan dish that's healthy and filling, and which will warm you up on a cold day.

Vegan. Hands-on time: 10 mins. Total time: 1 hour 10 mins.

Contributed by Mike Lewis (February 2011).

Lancashire hotpot (vegetarian version)

Photo © Veg World

This is a traditional artisan dish from the industrial north of England, and one that's still very popular throughout the region. It takes very little effort to prepare, even in large quantities. It makes a filling and nutritious meal, ideal for a large hungry family or when you have a lot of guests. It's also very economical.

Traditionally, the dish is made with lamb or mutton. But by using beans in place of the meat, it's very easy to produce an excellent vegetarian version, as this recipe shows.

Lancashire hotpot lends itself particularly well to slow cooking. If you can spare the time, you can improve it by turning down the oven and cooking for longer than the one hour suggested here. It won't overcook or dry out, provided you keep the pot covered.

The quantities given here will make a main course dish for four. But please don't follow the recipe too slavishly. In particular, feel free to vary the vegetables according to what you have available and what's in season.



Preheat oven to 320F (160C)

Peel the potatoes and cut them into ½-inch (1 cm) slices. Place them in a pan of cold water until you are ready to add them to the recipe (this is to prevent them discoloring).

Peel or clean the vegetables as appropriate. Cut them into chunks and place them at the bottom of a large oven dish. Drain and rinse the beans, and add these to the dish. Make sure the beans and vegetables are well mixed.

Dissolve the yeast extract, stock cube or bouillon powder in the hot water (if using bouillon powder, check the quantity in the instructions on the pack). Add the dried herbs. Pour the mixture over the vegetables.

Arrange the potato slices over the top of the vegetables so that they cover the entire surface. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the potatoes.

Cover the pot. Cook it in the oven for an hour, or until the potatoes are completely soft. Optionally remove the cover for the last ten minutes so that the potatoes are browned.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.