Lancashire hotpot is a dish made traditionally from lamb or mutton and onion, topped with sliced potatoes, left to bake in the oven all day in a heavy pot and on a low heat. Originating in the days of heavy industrialisation in Lancashire in the North West of England, it requires a minimum of effort to prepare. It is sometimes served at parties in England, because it is easy to prepare for a large number of people and is relatively inexpensive.
There are many regional variations. It is frequently found listed amongst the usual pub grub dishes in hostelries around Britain. The basic recipe consists of a mix of lamb and vegetables (carrot, turnip, potatoes, onions or leeks) covered with sliced potato. Sometimes lamb kidneys are included in the dish. Modern variants may use beef instead of lamb, or have a pastry topping. As much food can be added as will fit in the pot.
The basic recipe once included oysters but increasing cost brought them out of common usage. Pickled red cabbage or beetroot are often served as an accompaniment. In some areas Lancashire cheese is also served with the dish.
Flavour can be enhanced with seasoning; salt and pepper would be the most traditional, and any other ingredients available in the kitchen. Some stock is usually added to cover the contents while it cooks, though some recipes rely on a well-sealed pot on a low heat to retain enough moisture within the meat, onion and potato.
The hot pot referred to is a pottery dish used to cook casseroles in British cuisine.