Pan haggerty by any other name is known as potato bake or casserole. The dish is a famous British food from Northumberland, although it can be found across the whole of northeast Britain and most of England too.
A filling dish, pan haggerty is excellent with sausages or any meat and even delicious on its own. Most will know it as a potato gratin, but a dauphinoise it is not because there is no cream in the recipe.
This pan haggerty recipe uses just potatoes, onions, and cheese but sometimes it also is made with a little bit of cabbage as well. This is an excellent way to get kids to eat vegetables without them realizing.
- 4 ounces/125 g butter
- 9 ounces/250 g onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 pound/450 g large potatoes (bakers like Russet or Idaho, peeled and thinly sliced)
- 4 ounces/115 g cheddar cheese (aged, grated)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 375 F/190 C/Gas 5
- Over medium heat, melt 1 ounce/55 g of the butter in a large frying pan and gently cook the sliced onions until soft but not browned.
- In an ovenproof frying pan or stovetop casserole, melt half the remaining butter. Remove the pan from the heat and then arrange a layer of potatoes in the pan, then a layer of onions, followed by a layer of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and repeat the layers ending with potatoes on top.
- Place the pan over medium heat on the stovetop and cook for a few minutes or until the bottom layer of potatoes are brown.
- Dot the surface of the potatoes with the remaining butter, then place in the heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Raise the oven temperature to 425 F/220 C/Gas 7 and, when the oven has gotten up to temperature, return the pan to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- To serve, loosen the edges of the potato cake from the frying pan with a spatula, flip the pan over quickly onto a plate or a breadboard, cut into generous wedges, and serve.
You can vary a pan haggerty in much the same way as any potato gratin (bearing in mind this will no longer be the classic dish). Slice the celeriac and/or carrots the same thickness as the potatoes.
- Use slices of celeriac with the potatoes.
- Add cubed or sliced carrots.
- Change the onions to shallots for a softer taste.
- For vegetarians, serve with a fried egg on top or perhaps a dollop of wilted spinach or kale.
- If you're a meat lover, pan haggerty is perfect with sausages, bacon, or cold cuts left from a Sunday lunch.
- Enjoy pan haggerty cold or at room temperature. It's delicious as a snack or a meal when wrapped in foil and popped into a lunch box.