|Place of origin||Lancashire, England|
|Main ingredients||Lamb or mutton, onions, potatoes|
Lancashire hotpot is a stew originating in Lancashire in the North West of England. It consists of lamb or mutton and onion, topped with sliced potatoes and slowly baked in a pot at a low heat.
In the 17th century the word "hotpot" referred not to a stew but to a hot drink – a mixture of ale and spirits, or sweetened spiced ale. An early use of the term to mean a meat stew was in The Liverpool Telegraph in 1836: "hashes, and fricassees, and second-hand Irish hot-pots"; and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) cites the dish as being served in Liverpool (which was then in Lancashire) in 1842. The Oxford Companion to Food (OCF) cites Elizabeth Gaskell's 1854 novel North and South, depicting hot-pot as the most prized dish among cotton workers in a northern town.
The OED gives the etymology as "hot adj. + pot n.", and cites the analogous French term pot-au-feu. The OCF refers to earlier forms of the term: "hotchpotch" (a mixed dish, typically a meat and vegetable stew) and "hotchpot", from the medieval French hochepot.[n 1] A Book of Cookrye (1591) gives a recipe for hodgepodge, using "neck of Mutton or a fat rump of Beef", cooked and served in a broth thickened with bread. The term "hotchpotch" for a stew continued into the 19th century: Mrs Beeton (1861) gives a recipe under that name for a beef and onion stew in beer.
Hotpot became associated with Lancashire. In the OCF the food historian Roy Shipperbottom writes:
The recipe usually calls for a mix of mutton (nowadays more frequently lamb) and onions covered with sliced potato, and slowly baked in a pot containing stock or sometimes water. The traditional Lancashire hotpot dish is tall, round and straight sided, with a lid. Some early recipes add lamb kidneys or oysters to the dish; it is traditionally served with pickled red cabbage.