Homely hotpots are accompanied by snowman-shaped toasties in this irresistible vegetarian dish from Lancashire's Lisa Allen. The individual hotpots are full of root veg and barley, then topped off with a thin layer of both potato and sweet potato slices.
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For the hotpot filling, place a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes
40ml of olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then, stir in the tomato paste and cook until it starts to stick to the base of the pan slightly
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp of tomato paste
Stir in the stock along with the pearl barley, parsnips, carrots, celery and thyme
700ml of vegetable stock
80g of pearl barley
4 parsnips, thickly chopped
4 carrots, thickly chopped
4 celery sticks, thickly chopped
1 tbsp of thyme leaves
Simmer for 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and just cooked through
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4
Use a slotted spoon to evenly divide the vegetables and barley into 4 individual pie dishes
Using a ladle, spoon in enough liquid from the pan to cover the vegetables and barley in each dish. If there is not enough liquid left in the pan, top up with stock or water. Set aside to cool
Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the regular and sweet potatoes very thinly
2 baking potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
Toss in a bowl with the melted butter, salt and pepper. Lay the sweet potato and potato slices on top of each pie dish in a fanned circle, alternating between the 2 varieties
20g of butter, melted
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
Place all 4 pie dishes on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden on top
Meanwhile, make the toasties. Spread a thin layer of the pickle onto 4 slices of bread. Evenly grate the cheese onto the pickle and top with 4 more slices of bread to make cheese and pickle sandwiches
180g of half fat medium cheese
8 slices of wholemeal bread
30g of pickle
Place the sandwiches in a toastie maker until ready
If you do not have a toastie maker, place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment. Press down with another tray and cook for 20 minutes in the oven at the same temperature as the hotpots
Remove the toasties and allow to cool slightly. Use a snowman cutter to cut the toasties into shape, reserving any excess
Remove the hotpots from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve each hotpot warm with a snowman toastie
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