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French Style Mystery HotPot

Brian Kennett

Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Foodie Extraordinaire


French Style Mystery HotPot


I had to use the new French Cast-Iron Hot Pot, right? So I did. We were all deliberating on what to do for dinner on Sunday. Kids needed to go to bed early for school, so I offered up to cook. And, in turn, created French Style Mystery HotPot. The reason we put ‘mystery’ in the title is that when I served it no one could tell what was in it. Hey presto, the name. And yes, apart from me, it was a mystery. But a bloody good one that everyone loved. This is a tad comfort food. I imagine sitting in a kitchen with the Argor blazing to keep us all warm whilst tucking into this. So very delicious and savoury. I think you’ll like it.

Have a go at French Style Mystery HotPot. It’s a family fun one.

French Style Mystery HotPot
It’s so simple. You literally just throw everything inside the pot and throw that in the oven. I love my new pot. Looks pretty good right?
French Style Mystery HotPot
After about 30 minutes only she is taking shape and the flavours are muddling and the gravy is cultivating itself. I had the lid on for the first part to keep all the moisture in. I am loving my new toy!!!
French Style Mystery HotPot
Then after an hour, I took off the lid, skimmed some excess oil away and then poured on the super creamy mashed potato. Leave the lid off to get this browned up and serve straight from the pot, making sure you stand it on a wooden board as it seriously keeps the heat.

You’ll need the following to make a rather large pot full of French Style Mystery HotPot. Easily enough to feed 6 as I did last night;

  • 2 packs of Chipolatas;
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes;
  • 1 pack fresh Thyme;
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic;
  • 3 white onions skinned and cut to quarters;
  • 1/2 cup of beef gravy granules;
  • 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar;
  • 1 cup of fresh water;
  • 1Kg of white scrubbed potatoes with skin on;
  • 1 tub of thickened cream;
  • 2″ knob of salted butter;
  • 1 packet of 3 blend cheese – you can get from any supermarket;
  • 3 good glugs of Olive Oil;
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper – quite a few good pinches – read below.

Looks complex, I know, due to the ingredients but don’t panic. It’s simple, just follow the 1, 2, 3…

The Hot Pot;

  1. Pop in the Chipolatas to the bottom of the pot;
  2. Pour over the tomatoes, and sprinkle over the chopped garlic;
  3. Lay the fresh Thyme sprigs all over;
  4. Equally, lay the white onion quarters;
  5. Give a good glug or three of Olive Oil all over;
  6. Pour over the water;
  7. Sprinkle over the gravy granules;
  8. Give a damned good sprinkle of sea salt & cracked black pepper, like 3 or 4 good pinches;
  9. Give a nice drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar;
  10. Pop the lid on and throw this in a pre-heated oven at 200 for about 30-40 minutes;
  11. In parallel do the below…

The Mash;

  1. Throw the potatoes in a pan in some nicely seasoned (with salt) water;
  2. Get that to the boil until those spuds are super soft;
  3. Drain in a colander and return to the pan;
  4. Add in the butter and cream;
  5. Give a big season of sea salt and cracked black pepper, like 4 sprinkles;
  6. Blitz to smooth with a hand-blender,
  7. Throw in the cheese and mix whilst the potato is hot so it all melts together.

The finish;

  1. After 20 minutes more of cooking take the pot from the oven – all the Chipolatas should be cooked now (have a quick check);
  2. Use a ladle to skim off any excess oil from the top;
  3. Pour on that cheesy mash;
  4. Keeping the lid off pop it back in the oven and cook until the mash is browned;
  5. Take from the oven and pop the pot on a wooden serving board with some ladles and serve away.

There you go folks, French Style Mystery HotPot. When you see the ingredients do not panic, as you will see it is pretty much a throw in the pot and stand back and wait dish. So simple, so delicious. It is a cracker. With hindsight, I should have served this with some toasted sourdough. You now have that hindsight. This really is a dipping dish. The kids loved the ‘mystery’ as they scooped around digging out an onion, then some Chipolatas, not knowing what they’d get next. It’s a cracker of a first dish for my new pot, that I love even more now. Give it a go folks, it’s s simple one with super-tasty outcomes.


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