hotpot a word having different applications in the western and eastern hemispheres.
In the Orient, there is a cluster of dishes centred on the Mongolian hotpot, which may or may not have originated in mongolia. A contrivance intended to sit in the middle of the table, within reach of the diners, embraces a heating apparatus and a circular ‘moat’ of simmering broth, into which the diners briefly dip thin slices of meat or morsels of vegetable. The Japanese shabu-shabu is a close relation.
In the west it is usually Lancashire hotpot, a dish of NW England and in particular of Lancashire. The main ingredients are lamb or mutton chops and potatoes, and the cooking is done slowly in a covered pot or casserole. A Lancashire hotpot dish is tall, round, straight sided, and has a lid. The dish is filled with layers of browned lamb or mutton chops and layers of onions and thickly sliced potatoes. Other ingredients sometimes added are kidneys and black puddings; oysters, when cheap, were also included.