Saturday, 27 February 2016

Vegetarian Welsh Cawl Hot Pot

In anticipation of St David's Day, I made this Welsh Cawl Hot Pot yesterday afternoon.
Most people in the U.K are familiar with Lancashire Hot Pot made more famous by a barmaid called Betty (now deceased) in a popular British soap drama called Coronation Street.  It was Betty's signature dish at the Rovers Return Inn - a English pub.   

Hot Pot is a slow cooked recipe traditionally made with lamb and vegetables, but as this is a vegetarian blog I made mine with some vegan mock 'lamb' meat pieces.  I also decided to give this Hot Pot a Welsh touch with the addition of leeks and good Welsh cheese.  
Actually this can easily be a vegan Welsh Cawl Hot Pot, if you omit the cheese, but as I had some Dragon Welsh Caerphilly and Colliers Welsh Cheddar I opted to use them.  Although not authentic in any way, I enjoyed my vegetarian Welsh Hot Pot alternative.  It delivered on flavour, texture and substance.  there was also some gravy juices sitting at the bottom of the hot pot when it came out of the oven that made for moist mock 'lamb' pieces.  I served the finished dish with some steamed broccoli heads. 
This is not a sponsored blog post

Welsh Cawl Hot Pot
Serves 4 - 6
4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 large white onions, finely sliced
1 leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into half moons
2 - 3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme
150g-200g Soy Schnetzel (not reconstituted) or soya  chunks (re-hydrated and sliced in half) OR 4 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced into thick strips.
Salt and pepper to taste
1- 11/2 pint of good vegetable stock

4 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
Optional: 100g - 160g Welsh cheese such as Caerphilly and Cheddar, or mix of both
Optional: Fresh thyme leaves for garnish

In a wide pan, heat the oil then stir in the onions and saute until it begins to soften, then stir in the leek and carrots and saute until it appears translucent.  Stir in the herbs and allow to mingle with the vegetables, before stirring in the mock 'lamb' meat pieces and 1/2 of the vegetable stock. Season to taste and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to cook for a few minutes for the mock meat to absorb the stock.  Its important not to overcook the vegetarian meat as it will slow cook in the oven.
Turn off heat and transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole pot with a fitted lid.
Layer the thinly sliced potatoes over the top, seasoning with a little salt and pepper in between the layers as you go.  when you have used up all the potatoes, pour over the remaining vegetable stock and place in preheated oven gas mark 4/180oc for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove from the oven and scatter over the cheese (or vegan alternative); or just drizzle over some olive oil (or butter) , then return to the oven with the lid to cook for a further 15 minutes or until golden or if using cheese bubbling brown.  


  1. Do you know, I've never had a hotpot! Maybe it is because I'm a southerner. Anyway, your Welsh twist with leeks and Welsh cheese sounds delicious. The potato topping is perfect! Thanks again for linking up with the #SlowCookedChallenge

    1. Lucy, I beleive you. I have but have never blogged about it, so had to remedy that with a Welsh touch!

  2. This has me intrigued - I like the idea of it but can't fully picture the flavours as I've never tried vegan lamb pieces and rarely ate lamb before I turned veggie. Something to try in vegan form now!

    1. Kari, I rarely ate lamb before turning veggie too. The brand that I like is this one if you want to try it. But if you don't like the sound of the mock stuff, then mushrooms would work too.

  3. Sounds like a good hearty dish - have not heard of a cawl hot pot before but have heard of the lancashire hotpot though not from Betty :-)

    1. Johanna, that is because a Cawl Hot Pot does not really exist in Wales, I have taken liberties...It is based on Lancashire Hotpot. There is however a Cawl dish and its a soup very much like the base of my hotpot here.

  4. What a delicious meal! I love mushrooms and potatoes, this is a lovely comfort food recipe.

  5. This sounds delish to me! We've never found soya chunks that we could enjoy - they've always tasted like cardboard! and we have tried and tried over the years to find some we would enjoy! The mushrooms sound great for us, or, and I don't mean to advertise, Quorn have beef style strips which we have found cook nicely in our vegetable stew!
    Barbara xx

  6. Hi Barbara, I have to agree with you, but used the brand (see below) in this post and loved it, but its not easy to come by. I will try the Quorn ones, I am not that mad about their products, but I do eat them as my hub finds them acceptable.


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