How to Make Lancashire Hotpot

The following is a guest post.

When I mentioned to an English friend of mine that I was making pot roast he asked if I meant a roast dinner. I said yes, a boneless chuck roast with carrots, potatoes, and onions cooked low and slow in the oven or crock pot. He said no, a roast dinner is roast beef, roast or mashed potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, vegetables, and gravy!

After much confusion, we eventually figured out that what I was making was closer to Lancashire hotpot. It got me curious about this dish.

Originally made in Lancashire, North West England, this traditional meal is made of lamb and kidneys, carrot, turnip, potatoes, onions or leeks, and covered with sliced potato. It was a cheap, easy meal to prepare and most likely came about sometime during the late 1700’s to mid 1800’s. Today, though, lamb is not cheap or easy to come by, at least not here in the US, so I use beef instead.


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 1/2 lbs your favorite cut of lamb or beef

2 1/2 lbs potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp chopped thyme, parsley, and/or other fresh herbs

2 C lamb, beef, or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp butter


In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (not non-stick) sauté onion and carrots in oil over medium-low heat until the onions are golden. Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.

Turn up the heat to medium-high and place the lamb or beef in the pan, turning after about 5 minutes on each side until nicely browned.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, spreading half in the bottom of large casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Place the meat, veggies, and any juice left in the pan on top of the potatoes, then sprinkle with herbs, salt, and pepper. For the third layer, arrange the remaining potatoes on top and once again season with salt and pepper. Pour the stock over all, dot with butter, and cover with lid or foil.

Bake for two hours.

Serves six.

Have you ever tried Lancashire Hotpot? Was it homemade or at your favorite pub? I always love to hear your food stories and memories! Enjoy!

Sarah Bloom is a stay-at-home mom in Pennsylvania, USA, but in her heart she is British through and through. While especially enamored of the food, Sarah loves all aspects of UK. You can find her on Facebook at The British Appreciation Society and read more of her posts here.


  1. Julia says

    Looks wonderful. What cut of beef did you use? I’m assuming it wasn’t ground, correct?

    I love your blog!!

  2. Dani says

    It sounds delicious, and very simple. Did you use ground beef or was it more like stew meat-cut into small chunks? I make a really yummy Shepherd’s Pie, and this sounds slightly similar in palate. Would love to try this one, too! What’s not to love: meat, potatoes, etc.!

  3. David says

    This brings back memories of winter suppers at home in the UK. This was a staple for our family in the 70′s and no-one ever makes it like your Mother did! We would never have used olive oil for the prep. More likely beef or pork dripping, super (not) healthy! I am sure we also had a stick of celery in the mix and probably a turnip as well. To answer Dani, use chunks of meat, not ground meat.

  4. Debbie says

    I’m from Lancashire and eat this dish regularly.
    I use minced (ground) beef or lamb to make mine and I never put a potato layer on the bottom.
    Another version is pour the stock over the sautéed mince meat and top with mashed potatoes, instead of sliced, and this is called shepherds pie.
    Absolutely delicious!!!

  5. Shereen Travels Cheap says

    I made this yesterday for dinner and I must say, I want to eat it every day! The flavor is so good and I can’t wait to try it with different vegetables (parsnips particularly). Thanks for this post. It’s the first “British” food I’ve tried to make and now I’m excited to try more of them…especially since traveling there every year is not all that budget-friendly :)

  6. says

    Originally the meat used would have been mutton and sheep kidneys, as lambs (unless already dead) would have been far far more valuable left to grow and produce wool, more lambs, and meat (mutton). Baby rams might have appeared on a wealthy person’s table, but not baby ewes!

    Unfortunately, most Americans disdain the eating of liver, kidneys, etc. (“organ meat”) as if there was something horrendous and “wrong” in the practice, which, I suppose, explains why you’ve omitted kidney from your recipe. Equally unfortunate is the fear of flavourful meat, which has led to the disappearance of mutton here in the US. Both are trends to be lamented. I introduced my wife to goat a few years ago, as the Indian food that she was eating proved too (spicily) hot, and she has loved it ever since.

  7. John says

    Ho ll, I’m from Holland and love these British recipes, Sheperd’s pie and that. This looks absolutely lovely but can anyone please help me out, I can’t understand what ” 2 C lamb, beef, or vegetable stock” means…..?

  8. Ducky says

    Since I’m low-carb, I want to trade out the potatoes for either turnips, parsnips, or daikon radish. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Derek Hyde says

      As a Lancastrian who returned from a trip ‘back ‘ome” just last week.
      Originally olive oil would not have been used. Probably beef or pork dripping. Please don’t use ground meat, ever! It’s the source of most spoiled meat, as the grinders are rarely cleaned from week to week!
      Everything else looks good. I think lamb is superior, as is the use of a deep casserole, like a bean pot. Taller and narrower. My mother used to finish off the stew with a layer of fresh oysters (the Irish Sea was only 30 miles away) a touch of luxury on a frugal but delicious stew.

  9. Sandra Slack says

    This looks yummy for the fall! I LOVE the recipes I’ve found on your site and my Brit hubs does too! ;)

  10. Amanda Martinez says

    This looks exceptionally good! But I don’t have an oven. I wonder if there is a way this could be done on the stovetop?

  11. Gabrielle Gilbert says

    My Mum used to make it all the time.I never thought to make it with beef though I will try it! I live In ural Virginia and lamb is very expensive.Thank you!

  12. Teresa says

    I make something similar, only I keep my roast whole and place in the center of a large deep roasting pan, then surround the roast with large chunks or whole potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery, sometimes turnips…we call it Yankee Pot Roast.

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