Sunday, 20 September 2015


Can you believe that it's September already? It won't be long now until those cold early evenings start drawing in so its time to prepare those autumn/winter classics that are perfect for warming you right to the core. For me, it doesn't get more classic than the hot pot! Oodles of tender carrot, parsnip and mushrooms cooked in a herby, boozy broth with sweet chestnuts and quorn mince all hiding under a blanket of thin and crispy potato slices. When it comes to comfort food, this hot pot is pure bliss on a plate!

Winter Vegetable Hot Pot

300ml Hot Vegetable Stock
1 Tbsp Madeira
1 Tsp Marmite
35g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1 Chopped Medium Red Onion
1 Large Grated Garlic Clove
2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary Leaves
2 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 Peeled Carrot Cut Into Small Cubes
1 Peeled Parsnip Cut Into Small Cubes
Large Handfull Finely Chopped Chestnut Mushrooms
50g Finely Chopped Cooked Chestnuts
100g Quorn Mince
Salt And Pepper To Season
2 Large Potatoes Cut Into Thin Slices
A Knob Of Melted Butter
Small Handfull Chopped Parsley Leaves To Garnish

  1. Begin by taking the hot stock and adding in the Madeira, marmite and porcini mushrooms and stir until the marmite has dissolved. Leave to one side until needed.
  2. In a lightly oiled pan fry the onions and garlic until the onions begin to soften before adding in 1 tsp of both the rosemary and thyme leaves, the carrot and parsnip and frying for a further five minutes.
  3. Add in the chestnut mushrooms, chestnuts and quorn mince and fry until the mushrooms have softened.
  4. Sieve the stock mixture and add the liquid to the pan and then quickly chop the porcini into smaller bits and adding them to the pan as well. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. At this point turn your oven on to 200 degrees (180 fan). When the mixture has finished simmering, transfer it into one large or two smaller oven proof dishes so that that the mixture is about 1cm from the rim of the dish.
  6. Layer the thin potato slices over the top of the hot pot mixture and brush them with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the remaining tsps of rosemary and thyme leaves and then place the hot pots in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden brown. If the potatoes are browning quickly, cover the hot pots with some foil. Remove from the oven and garnish with the chopped parsley leaves.
It's always best to serve your hot pot as soon as it comes out of the oven so that the potato blanket on top is at its most crispy and the bubbling insides are at there most piping hot. All those autumnal mushroom and root vegetable flavors are something that takes me right back to chilly evenings at home enjoying one of my Nan's home cooked hot pots. There is nothing more satisfying and comforting when it comes to your favorite foods then those nostalgic feelings it can be conjured up to really make you smile and warm you right down to your very core! With these hot pots, your winter nights are sorted.

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