Beef & Vegetable Hotpot

1 Feb
This is real winter comfort food and a throw back to my 1970’s childhood. Hotpot was a favourite dish in our house, with us kids fighting over the crispiest bits of potato stuck around the pot. This version uses minced beef and our winter vegetables. The meat and vegetables are first gently fried then laid in a pot with gravy and a thick topping of thinly sliced potatoes. The potatoes act as a lid and are both steamed and roasted as they cook on top of the lovely stew mixture. There are no real measurements for this dish, just use what you have available. I like a lot of vegetables so the ratio is about 3:1 of vegetables to meat.

Prep 20min Cook 45-60min

  • Lean beef, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • I onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • leek
  • carrots
  • white turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 3 peeled and chopped tomatoes (tinned ones are fine)
  • Potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1 stock cube or gravy salt (this is a 70’s dish)
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Turn on the oven and pre-heat to 180c. Prepare the vegetables. Fry the onion in oil then add the mince stir and cook until the mince is browned. Add the garlic and leeks and stir fry for a few minutes then add the remaining vegetables except the potatoes. Meanwhile dissolve the stock cube in hot water and add the cornflour mix give it a stir. Put the meat and vegetable mixture into an oven dish, poke the bayleaves into the mixture and pour over the liquid, enough to just cover the vegetables, check the seasoning. Lay the potatoes in several, overlapping layers, to cover the whole dish. Push down gently so that some of the stock bubbles up over the potatoes, Add a little more liquid if necessary so that the potatoes have liquid around them but not fully covering. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes remove the cover and bake for another 15-30minutes until the potatoes on top are crisp. Serve with lightly steamed sprouting broccoli or another green vegetable.

Variations: use any winter vegetable you like such as parsnip, root parsley, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes etc you could even use frozen broad beans or peas. I prefer to leave out any green vegetables and serve those lightly cooked on the side.
1/2/2007:

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