Pan haggerty is one of the best British dishes I have ever tasted. It is extremely simple to make and is very filling. Pan haggerty is a dish that finds its roots in Northumberland, England, a northern county in England that borders with Scotland along the east coast. I have seen some sites online that claim it is the same dish as panackelty, but it isn’t…in fact they aren’t even remotely similar. Pan haggerty is a layered baked dish, whereas panackelty is a stew that cooks for several hours. I had never tasted pan haggerty until recently and to be completely honest, I stumbled on its existence by complete accident!
Feel free to skip this part entirely, but if you are up to sharing my embarrassing moment then read on! My mother comes form a Geordie background, and having never really tasted authentic “Geordie” cuisine I decided to search out traditional recipes from both online and from family members. One such dish was one I remember mom making for my great-uncle (and us) on a regular basis, it was a dish I called ‘Pan Hagglety (Hag-uhl-tee). I was but a wee bairn, so that’s my excuse for the pronunciation. When I took up the hunt to find a recipe online for this ‘pan hagglety’, I came across pan haggerty….needless to say I was extremely confused because I found a baked dish, when I was looking for a stew. After a few more days looking at recipes I came across panackelty (I will post my family recipe soon) and realized I had been butchering the pronunciation of “panackelty” my entire life. But I am proud to say it only took me 25 years to learn how to say it correctly and in that time I discovered a delicious meal!
OK, back on topic…
The simplicity of pan haggerty comes with it’s ingredients. the main ingredients are potato, onion and cheese; the other ingredients are simply salt, pepper and butter. I can personally testify that this is one dish where less is more! Though I recommend cooking the dish with the ingredients listed below, feel free to spice it up a little by adding bacon or sausage!
The only “special” item required for this recipe is a cast iron pan (or any other oven safe pan), as you will not only be using it on the stove top, but needing to throw it in the oven too.
Please feel free to share this recipe with your friends and to alter it to meet your needs. As my favorite chef, Michael Smith, likes to say “A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise.”
- 4 med potatoes
- 2 med onions
- 1/2 C grated cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 2 T melted butter (separated into two)
- Peel and thinly slice the potatoes then set aside
- Dice both onions and set aside
- Roughly grate the cheese and set aside
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- On the stove top (med heat) melt 1 T of the butter and fry the onions until they are translucent (or seem to be turning see through)
- Remove pan from the heat and the onions from the pan (leaving the grease and juices in the pan)
- Place slices of potato in the pan (while off the heat) until the bottom is covered, and add a dash of salt and pepper to the potatoes. This is the start of the layering, you will do to make a delicious pan haggerty.
- Once the bottom is covered with a layer of potatoes, add a layer of fried onion, and then cheese
- From here continue to create new layers of potato, onion, and cheese in that order until all the onion is used up (maybe 2-3 additional layers), and adding a sprinkling of salt and pepper on each layer of potato
- Once the onion is used up, top it off with some cheese then add a final layer of potato. On this layer you are going to spread the remaining 1 T of melted butter, ad a pinch of salt and pepper, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top
At this point you should have layered the ingredients as follows: potato, onion, cheese (until the onion is gone), potato, butter, cheese [end].
- Once all the layering is done, return the pan to the stove top and proceed to fry the bottom layer of potatoes until they brown.
- Pull the pan from the stove and place directly into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes are up, increase the temperature of the oven to 425F and continue to bake for an addition 10-15 minutes until it is cooked thoroughly
- To test if the pan haggerty is fully cooked, simply use a knife to poke down through the center of the dish. If it goes easily, the potatoes are cooked but if there is resistance from the potatoes, then it will have to cook longer.
- Once it is thoroughly cooked, pull the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. This will also allow the ingredients to settle, making it easier to serve.
- When cooled, loosen the edges with a knife, cut into wedges, serve and enjoy!
NOTE: Not all ovens are the same! Temperatures and cook times may vary