The hot pot is a classic English meal which has been served for generations and it still remains as one of the most hearty meals which you will find in the country. The story of the hotpot starts way back in the 17th Century in northern England, before the industrial revolution. Such was the cooking facilities that people had as well as the amount of time which they would spend working, spending a great deal of time and effort over food wasn’t possible.
During those days, mutton was usually the meat of choice and the women would leave scrags of it cooking over the fire for large periods of time. Once the mutton was slow-cooked, it would have vegetables and potatoes added to it with water and stock. Once the casserole was ready, the women would take their meal in a pudding bag down to the baker’s oven to finish cooking, and the hot pot was born. These days the cooking method has changed somewhat and there are variations on ingredients, it still remains as a beautiful dish and here is how to make one for you and the family.
Season and Cook
The first step is to season the meat, in this recipe we are going to use beef braising steak, perfect for this kind of dish. Once the meat is seasoned you need to fry it until browned. Remove the meat from the pan and place to one side. Set the oven to 170 degrees and place an empty casserole dish inside.
Add another knob of butter to the pan and start frying off the onions until they are lightly browned, towards the end of cooking, add the carrots in for around 1 minute.
Preparing the Casserole
Add the meat back in to the frying pan and gradually add in about a liter if chicken stock, as you stir in the stock, add flour to thicken up the gravy. Season with freshly ground pepper and some salt and if you want to add a little something extra then you could also place a couple of sprigs of time into the mix. Bring it all to the boil and then take it off the heat.
Next up you will need to slice your potatoes, you want these about 5mm thick. Now begin to add the mixture to the casserole dish and then add a layer of potatoes on top of the meat, repeat this process two or three times and then add a further layer of potatoes on the top.
Finally, cook the casserole in the oven for 1 hour with the lid on and then remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to make sure those potatoes are nice and crunchy.
After the casserole has finished cooking, take it out of the oven and leave it to stand for 10 minutes, then serve with some nice crunchy bread and enjoy this delicious and hearty meal.
How do you cook your hotpot? If you have any variations then please let us know.