It all started with Elaine's stovies. Quick to prepare, versatile (from roast leftovers to corned beef), yummy and comforting. Being a foreign bod, I have never had stovies prior to my first attempt at cooking them, but that did not stop them from becoming instant comfort food.
And then there was Snitty Kitty's revelation that Jocasta Innes's Bacon, Onion and Potato Hotpot (From The Pauper's Cookbook) can be done in a slow cooker, too. So I did, and loved it. And then I looked at one, and looked at the other, and saw the pattern.
Potatoes, sliced thinly.
Onions, sliced thinly.
Flavouring, chopped up small... or indeed, sliced thinly.
Turn the pot on, and let it do the work.
And the possibilities are endless. Beef, chicken, bacon, chorizo, thinly sliced sausages, ham, scraps, leftovers..... For veggies, mushrooms, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes, sauerkraut.... Anything you like, really.
And for liquid, gravy, or white sauce, or cheese sauce, or tomato sauce, or even just good stock, either meat or vegetable. Additional flavour possible in the form of Worcestershire sauce, or soya sauce, or paprika (smoked paprika, even), or chilli, or any spice or herb of your choice.
A few weeks back, I had a bit of a glut of carrots, and I'd just sprouted and cooked a big batch of haricot beans, and I thought, well, why not ?
So, a little bit of beef dripping went in, melted - fats like dripping and lard do add another dimension to the hotpot, but they are by no means essential - a layer of thinly sliced potato went in, followed by a layer of onion....
.... then the beans, carrots, some thinly sliced chorizo (because chorizo and beans really, really like each other), a few bay leaves from the garden....
Followed by more potatoes, and more onions, and so on until the final layer of potato on the top. The liquid was homemade tomato sauce from the freezer thinned with some hot water.
As for quantities, a medium potato and a large onion per person normally suffices, but do feel free to use more - the leftovers are as delicious as the dish on the first go.