Friends, I dearly wanted to attempt a Manchester Tart for today’s Mofo theme (‘Close to home’) and ordinarily I would’ve reached for the ol’ Vegan Egg. But ever since the unfortunate Spewathon of August 2016, which was preceded immediately by the consumption of one large Vegan Egg omelette, I haven’t been able to face it.
Not to worry. I googled for some inspiration and hit upon a Lancashire hotpot recipe. I have fond memories of my paternal Grandfather cooking up a hotpot for us whenever we paid a (rare) Sunday visit. We could hear him whistling cheerfully from the kitchen, clanging pots and pans, merrily throwing me an occasional wink whenever he walked past the living room door. My Nana was very strict and stern and wasn’t thought of very generously by anyone on the maternal side of my family; I often look back now and wonder how such a mismatched pair stuck together for so many decades, but stick they did, and in fact passed away within 36 hours of each other when well into their 90s.
I’m not too familiar with the paternal side of my family having been estranged from my Dad since I was about 13 or 14 years old. But I’ve done lots of research via Ancestry and I traced the line back, reliably, to the 1600s, and they were all still based right here in Lancashire (weaving, for the most part).
In summary, I feel that this dish is doubly appropriate for today’s theme. My Grandad used lamb in his recipe, and the one I found online called for 100g lard, 900g lamb steak and 3 lamb kidneys. CHANGES WERE MADE, MY FRIENDS. Lamb kidneys? Good grief.
I used a Granose chargrilled burger mix to fashion little ‘beef’ pieces, which I rolled and coated in flour and then browned in coconut oil and a few splashes of vegan worcester sauce. I added chopped onions, mushrooms, carrot and swede and some vegetable stock. I let the mix boil and then simmer with bay leaves added, before transferring to an oven dish and topping with thinly sliced potato and salt and pepper, then baking for 20 minutes or so.
It’s getting chilly now, and a hotpot sure suits the weather. I still have my eye on that Manchester tart though….