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Lancashire hotpot recipe: Vegan MoFo

I made this next dish, Lancashire hotpot, only so I could use up a rather odd purchase I made at a health-food store in Brighton: vegan black pudding.

If you don't know what black pudding is, you're lucky - in its non vegan form, it's a sausage made of blood. Grim. (In its vegan form, I'm not entirely sure what it's made of  - I forgot to write it down, though I remember that pearl barley figures in there.)

Funny how non-vegan ideas hang over into veganism - though I knew the black pudding was entirely vegan, I really couldn't bear to put it in my mouth and have a quick nibble. It went into my hotpot untasted!

So what's a hotpot, I hear you cry? (I hear those of you who haven't worked out from the name what it is cry, I should say.) In non-vegan world, it's a dish from Lancashire that involves meat (sometimes including offal, black pudding and shiz. Yeah, I know - ultra-grim.) and veggies topped with sliced potato being left to bake in a big casserole dish  for ages on end.

Here's a quote from Wikipedia on the matter:
"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."
I obviously don't go to the right parties. Or the people at Wikipedia go to some really freaking odd ones. "Just going through the checklist for the big party tonight - have we got the champagne fountain?" "Check." "Fire dancers and acrobats?" "Check." "What about the Lancashire hotpot?" "Oh nooooo!"

Just to be clear: this is never served at parties, unless maybe ones in the 18th century. This is served as a communal dish for a family, and you all grab a spoon and dig in, scrapping over who gets the potatoes on top.

So, here's the rough recipe:

1. Peel and slice two onions and peel and chunk a carrot.  Fry in a little oil until softened, then add in a heaped dessertspoon of flour and cook for a couple more minutes.
2. Add in a pint or so of veggie stock and a goodly amount of vegan Worcestershire sauce. (Don't have any? Use a squirt of tomato ketchup, a little soy sauce and some tamarind paste will work. Don't have any tamarind paste? Erm...)
3. Simmer for a little while until thickened.
4. In the meantime, peel and slice two small parsnips into thick coins and layer them across the base of an overproof dish.
5. On top, put a layer of seitan slices and then some vegan black pudding.
7. Take the onion/carrot/stock mixture off the heat and spread half over the seitan.
8.Top with another layer of seitan and another layer of black pudding, and finish by pouring the remaining stock and stuff on top.
9. Slice two large baking potatoes into as thin slices as you can manage. Layer them on top.
10. Back the whole lot in the oven at 180C or so until the potato is cooked. THIS WILL TAKE FOREVER.

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  1. Yeesh, black pudding sounds like one of the least appetizing things to veganize. But I do love how crispy you got the potatoes, even if it took forever.

  2. Oh man, my father in law LOVES black pudding. Blechhhhh. The hotpot looks really good though! Those crisped potatoes are sexay!

  3. I've never tried black pudding and I don't think I have any desire to try the vegan version, though I'm sure it's ok!

    Your potato topping looks amazing!

  4. Wow, you're very brave. I am really scared of black pudding, the non-vegan version just sounds so grim I find even the vegan version off-putting! Your potato slices look delicious though, and I imagine I'd like to try this minus the black pudding!

  5. I only found out what black pudding was last Xmas when a co-worker brought it to a potluck, nobody would try it! I don't blame them, because gross! Weird that there's a vegan version, I think I'll pass on that one. Your hotpot looks good though. I always thought hotpot was a Chinese cusine, who knew Lancashire has one too.

  6. The whole black pudding thing is very off-putting, I agree. Bleh. Even the thought of veganizing it seems grim. But you've handled it well, and the dish you've come up with sounds quite good. Anything topped with potatoes is super appealing to me, so I'd be happy to dig in. But let's keep talk of its origins to the minimum. :)

  7. your potato looks so deliciously crispy that I was comforted to hear it takes blooming ages in your oven too - mine would take all day to get to this point - am also amazed at vegan black pudding - would love to buy some but also feel a bit squeamish about it and don't know I would want to actually eat it - love the hotpot - wish I went to parties where they served your vegan hot pot (never mind the champagne fountain and the acrobats - just give me a spoon)

  8. I hear you on those potatoes! I've made a Lancashire hotpot before but was too impatient for the spuds to crisp up, your meal looks superb. I'm amazed there is a market for vegan black pudding, not sure I would be game to try it!

  9. Your whole riff on parties cracked me up. Thankfully, I haven't been attending any of those parties either. Honestly, that's the main reason why I steer clear of the 18th century. Your potatoes look so pretty on the dish. They achieved the perfect amount of crispiness.


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