Lancashire is a county in the north-west region of England, and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Lancashire area. All of the recipes below are regionally authentic, originally coming from recipe books published in the 1800s or 1900s, with the weights and measurements adjusted (alongside the old standards) where appropriate for the modern kitchen.
LANCASHIRE HOT POT
2 lb (1kg) best end neck of mutton, 3 sheep’s kidneys, 12 small oysters, 2lb (1kg) potatoes, 1 large onion, salt, pepper, 1/2 pint (300ml) gravy, 1 oz (30g) butter, 1/2 pint (300ml) stock.
Divide meat into neat cutlets. Trim off the skin and greater part of the fat. Put the rib bones, the lean trimmings of the meat, the beards of the oysters and a small onion into a stew-pan. Cover with cold water and boil down for gravy.
Grease a fireproof baking dish, put in a deep layer of sliced potato. On top of them arrange the cutlets to slightly overlap each other and on each place 1 or 2 slices of kidney and an oyster. Season well, put in remainder of potatoes, but let the top layer consist of small potatoes cut in halves and arranged to improve the appearance of the dish. Pour down the side of the dish 1/2 pint hot stock or water seasoned with salt and pepper. Brush the upper layer of potatoes with warm butter, cover with a buttered paper and bake for 2 hours in a moderate oven 350F (180C). Remove the paper, the latter part of the time, to allow potatoes to become crisp and brown.
When ready to serve, pour in a little gravy and send the rest to the table in a tureen. Hot pot is served in the dish in which it is baked.
Swede and turnips, boiled and mashed, with a little cream or butter is the ideal accompaniment. It is usually made in a deep, glazed dish and I use the 10 inch (25cm) size, 5 inches (12cm) deep, for 3 or 6 people. The ingredients are:
3/4 lb (375g) potted pork, 4 onion, sliced carrots if liked, peeled and sliced potatoes to fill the dish, 1 dessert spoonful salt, pepper to taste.
Fill with water to an inch from the top. Cover with an old dinner plate and cook gently for about 2 hours after coming to the boil. About 3/4 hour before it is required, remove the plate, test for seasoning, see that there is enough liquid in the dish. If too much, ladle some out and keep hot to add later and put on a pastry crust. Return to the oven and cook till the crust is nicely browned. The pie will be almost as good if the remains of cold roast pork, including the bones, is used. In that case some left-over gravy or a dissolved meat cube should be added when the crust is put on.
CHEESE AND ONION FEAST
1/2 lb (250g) cheese, 3/4 lb (375g) onions, 1 pint (600ml) milk, 1 or 2 eggs, pepper, salt and butter to taste.
Slice the onions ad stew them gently in the milk until cooked, then add the grated cheese with pepper, salt and butter. Let it cook until the cheese is soft, but don’t let the milk boil after the cheese is added. Add 1 or 2 beaten eggs and stir quickly for a few seconds. Serve on toast on hot plates.