Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot Recipe

Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 40 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr 15 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 55 Mins

Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot is a classic British comfort food, combining tender, slow-cooked lamb with hearty root vegetables, all topped with a crisp layer of sliced potatoes. This dish is perfect for family dinners, offering warmth and rich flavors that are especially welcome during colder months.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to create Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot, providing helpful tips to ensure a deliciously satisfying result.

What is Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot?

Mary Berry Lancashire hotpot is a traditional British dish that originated in the county of Lancashire, England. It is a hearty and comforting stew of lamb, potatoes, onions, and carrots, cooked slowly in the oven until the meat is tender and the potatoes are golden and crisp. It is a perfect meal for a cold winter day or any time you need some warmth and nourishment.

This recipe serves 6-8 people, and the preparation and cooking time for this recipe is around 2 to 2.5 hours.

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Why You Love this Recipe

Some of the reasons why you love this recipe are:

  • Classic Comfort: A traditional dish that warms and satisfies.
  • Easy Preparation: Simple, straightforward steps with minimal prep required.
  • One-Pot Wonder: Ideal for feeding a group and easy to scale.
  • Customizable: Easily adapted to suit your taste preferences.
  • Resourceful: A great way to utilize leftover meat and vegetables.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot

To make Mary Berry’s Lancashire hotpot, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) lamb shoulder, cut into large chunks
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 600 ml (1 pint) lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 900 g (2 lb) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Useful Equipment

You will also need a large ovenproof casserole dish with a lid, or a deep baking dish covered with foil.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot

Here are the steps to make Mary Berry’s Lancashire hotpot:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and season the lamb

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan, gas mark 3).
  • Season the lamb chunks with salt and pepper, and toss them with the flour in a large bowl.

Step 2: Brown the lamb and transfer to the casserole dish

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat, and brown the lamb in batches, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until golden on all sides.
  • Transfer the lamb to the casserole dish, and set aside.

Step 3: Cook the onions and garlic and add the sauce

  • In the same frying pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the onions and garlic for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, stock, bay leaves, and thyme, and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the onion mixture over the lamb in the casserole dish, and stir to combine.

Step 4: Arrange the potato slices on top and brush with butter

  • Arrange the potato slices on top of the lamb and onion mixture, overlapping them slightly.
  • Brush the potatoes with the melted butter, and season with salt and pepper.

Prepration of Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot

Step 5: Cover and bake for 1.5 hours

  • Cover the casserole dish with the lid, or the baking dish with foil, and bake in the oven for 1.5 hours.

Step 6: Remove the cover and bake for another 30 minutes

  • Remove the lid or foil, and increase the oven temperature to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6).
  • Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and golden.

Step 7: Add the carrot slices and bake for another 15 minutes

  • Scatter the carrot slices over the hotpot, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Step 8: Garnish and serve

  • Sprinkle some chopped parsley over the hotpot, if desired, and serve hot with some crusty bread or a green salad.

Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot?

Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot, a hearty and flavorful dish, pairs wonderfully with various sides that can enhance and balance the meal. Consider these delightful accompaniments:

  • Crusty Bread or Rolls: Ideal for soaking up the savory sauce, fresh, crusty bread or rolls make a perfect addition. They add a textural contrast and ensure not a drop of the delicious sauce goes to waste.
  • Green Salad or Coleslaw: Introduce a fresh element with a crisp green salad or a tangy coleslaw. These sides offer a crunchy texture and a refreshing taste, providing a nice balance to the rich hotpot.
  • Pickled Red Cabbage or Beetroot: Add a vibrant, tangy side with pickled red cabbage or beetroot. Their acidity and color brighten up the meal and cut through the richness of the hotpot.
  • Peas or Green Beans: For an extra dose of vegetables and nutrients, incorporate lightly steamed peas or green beans. They bring a mild, sweet flavor and a tender texture to the table.
  • Yorkshire Pudding or Dumplings: Enhance the heartiness with Yorkshire pudding or dumplings. These traditional British staples add a comforting, starchy component that complements the meaty stew.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot

To achieve the best results with Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot recipe, consider these pro tips:

  • Seasoning the Lamb: Generously season the lamb chunks with salt and pepper, and coat them with flour. This not only adds flavor but also helps thicken the sauce.
  • Browning the Lamb: Ensure the lamb chunks are well-browned in a hot frying pan. This step is crucial for sealing in juices and developing a deep, rich color and flavor.
  • Onions and Garlic: Slowly cook the onions and garlic to caramelize them, bringing out their inherent sweetness and enhancing the stew’s flavor profile.
  • Quality Stock: Opt for high-quality lamb or chicken stock, or consider making your own. The better the stock, the more flavorful and rich the hotpot.
  • Fresh Herbs: Use fresh bay leaves and thyme to infuse the dish with aromatic freshness.
  • Potato Preparation: Slice the potatoes thinly and evenly for a uniform cook. Arrange them neatly atop the stew to achieve a beautifully crispy and golden crust.
  • Low and Slow Cooking: Bake the hotpot in a low-temperature oven to ensure the meat becomes tender and the sauce develops a thick, bubbly consistency.
  • Adding Carrots Later: Incorporate the carrot slices towards the end of cooking to maintain their texture and vibrant color.

Variations of Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot

Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot is adaptable to various tastes and preferences:

  • Alternative Meats: While lamb is traditional, feel free to use lamb neck, leg, beef, or chicken as substitutes.
  • Additional Vegetables: Elevate the hotpot with other vegetables like parsnips, turnips, celery, or leeks. For a more complex sauce, consider adding chopped tomatoes, red wine, or tomato paste.
  • Potato Slicing Techniques: Use a mandoline or food processor for uniform potato slices. Alternatively, pre-sliced potatoes can be used for convenience, although homemade slices tend to offer better freshness and crispiness.
  • Make-Ahead Option: The hotpot can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer. Ensure it’s completely thawed before baking and adjust cooking time as needed.
  • Slow Cooker Method: For a convenient approach, prepare the lamb and onion mixture as instructed, then transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Finally, add the potato and carrot layers and bake in the oven until the topping is crisp.

How do I store Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot Leftovers?

Proper storage of leftovers is essential to maintain the quality and flavor of the Lancashire hotpot. Follow these steps:

  • Cooling: Allow the hotpot to cool completely at room temperature. Avoid leaving it out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Transfer to a Container: Once cooled, transfer the hotpot to an airtight container or a resealable ziplock bag. This helps to preserve its freshness and prevents the absorption of other flavors from the refrigerator.
  • Refrigeration or Freezing: Refrigerate the hotpot if you plan to consume it within three days. For longer storage, freeze it. The hotpot can be frozen for up to three months. Remember, freezing can slightly alter the texture of the potatoes but will keep the dish safe to eat.
  • Labeling: Label the container or bag with the name of the dish and the date it was stored. This practice helps in tracking its shelf life and avoids any confusion in the future.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Lancashire Hotpot Leftovers?

Reheating leftovers correctly is key to enjoying the dish as if it were freshly made. Here’s how:

Thawing: If the hotpot is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. For a quicker method, use the microwave’s defrost setting. Ensure it is completely thawed before reheating.

  • Oven Reheating: Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4). Place the thawed hotpot in a baking dish.
  • Cover and Heat: Cover the dish with aluminum foil. This prevents the top from drying out or burning while the rest of the hotpot heats through. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the hotpot is thoroughly heated and starts to bubble.
  • Crisping the Top: Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes. This step helps crisp up the potatoes, restoring some of the texture and flavor lost during refrigeration or freezing.
  • Serving: Once reheated, serve the hotpot immediately for the best taste. Any leftovers should be cooled and stored following the same storage guidelines.

The nutrition value for one serving of this recipe:

  • Calories: 650 kcal
  • Fat: 36 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Protein: 42 g
  • Sodium: 900 mg
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 5 g


Can I prepare Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot in advance?

Yes, this dish can be prepared in advance. Assemble the hotpot as per the recipe and then either refrigerate it for 1-2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. If refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. If frozen, thaw it completely in the refrigerator overnight before reheating as per the instructions.

Can I use a different type of meat instead of lamb in Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot?

Yes, you can substitute lamb with other meats such as beef or chicken, though lamb is the traditional choice for this dish. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the meat you use. Beef or chicken will offer a different flavor profile but can still make a delicious hotpot.

Is it possible to make Mary Berry’s Lancashire Hotpot in a slow cooker?

Absolutely. You can adapt the recipe for a slow cooker by following the initial steps of browning the meat and sautéing the onions and garlic. Then, transfer these ingredients to the slow cooker, add the remaining components, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Add the potato layer towards the end of the cooking time and finish in the oven for a crispy top.

How can I thicken the sauce in the hotpot if it’s too thin?

If the sauce in your Lancashire hotpot is thinner than you’d like, you can thicken it by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a little cold water to create a slurry. Stir this mixture into the hotpot towards the end of the cooking time, and let it simmer for a few more minutes. The sauce should thicken upon heating.

What kind of meat should I use for the Lancashire hotpot?

The traditional meat for Lancashire hotpot is lamb, preferably from the shoulder, neck, or leg. You can also add some lamb kidneys for extra flavor and texture. Some people use beef or chicken instead, but lamb is the most authentic and flavourful choice.

How do I make the potatoes crispy on top?

To make the potatoes crispy on top, you need to slice them thinly and evenly and arrange them neatly on top of the stew, overlapping them slightly. Brush them with melted butter, and season them with salt and pepper. Bake the hotpot in a low and slow oven for 1.5 hours, then remove the lid or foil, and increase the oven temperature. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden and crisp. You can also finish the hotpot under the grill for a few minutes if you want to brown them more.

Can I add other vegetables to the hotpot?

Yes, you can add other vegetables to the hotpot, such as parsnips, turnips, celery, or leeks. You can also add some chopped tomatoes, red wine, or tomato paste to the onion mixture, for a richer and more colorful sauce. However, you should not add too many vegetables, as they may dilute the flavor and texture of the lamb and potatoes.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Lancashire hotpot is a traditional British dish that is perfect for a cold winter day or any time you need some warmth and nourishment.

It is a hearty and comforting stew of lamb, potatoes, onions, and carrots, cooked slowly in the oven until the meat is tender and the potatoes are golden and crisp. It is easy to make, with simple ingredients and minimal preparation. It is also versatile and adaptable and can be customized to your taste and preference. It is a one-pot meal that can feed a crowd and a great way to use up leftover meat and vegetables. It is a classic and delicious dish that will warm you up and fill you up.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and that you will try this recipe soon. Let me know how it turns out, and what variations you made. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!

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