In the winter months there is nothing better than a warming hotpot. 


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 200g tomato purée
  • Good glug of Madeira
  • 2 tbsp pearl barley
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 3 litres fresh vegetable stock, hot
  • 24 baby onions, unskinned
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips, cored and cut into batons
  • 3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 baking potatoes, very finely sliced
  • 25g butter, melted, for brushing


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the tomato purée and cook for 8 minutes, stirring – this intensifies the flavour.
  3. Stir in the Madeira and boil for a few minutes. Add the barley, Tabasco and 1 litre stock. Boil, then simmer for 20 minutes to reduce by one-third.
  4. Bring the remaining stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add the baby onions. Cook for 5 minutes then cool in cold water. Peel. Blanch the other veg (do the potatoes separately) for 3 minutes.
  5. Lift into a colander to drain well then season and set aside.
  6. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Put the veg (except the potatoes) in 6 x 300ml pie dishes. Spoon in the sauce and top with overlapping potato slices. Brush with butter and grill on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, until golden.

To freeze: Once made, cool, cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat at 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5 for 20-25 minutes, until piping hot.

Author: admin