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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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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.