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Alternating layers of sheep meat, thinly sliced potato, and onion, the top layer being of overlapping very thin potato rounds. Baked so that the top forms a crust. Served with pickled red cabbage.
In Lancashire, all types of stew (including Scouse) are referred to as 'hotpot', but only as 'Lancashire Hotpot' when in this form. The name may derive from the earlier usage of 'hodge podge' (qv) for a mixed stew, but is unrelated, except in as much as it is hot and in a pot, with 'hot pot' as a name for a cup of spiced beer.
The first known reference is from a letter from 'A Lancashire Man' reproduced in the 1795 'Annals of agriculture' where it is described as being like a poor man's pie; "consisting of a trifling portion of beef or mutton, either raw or boiled, cut into small pieces and mixed in a dish of sliced potatoes, proportioned to the size of the family, to which you add pepper and salt and a little water with butter or dripping, as gravy, the wholesome and savoury addition of a shred onion is often made, and gives a good relish."
In 'Dinners and dinner-parties' by 'G.V' of 1862 hotpot is described as; "A Lancashire dish, much liked; so much so, that every one at table always partakes of it, and most persons make their dinner of it," adding that; "A few larks or snipes are a great addition."
See: Scouse, Bolton Hotpot, Cumberland Tatie Pot
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