Cheesemonger Lydia shares her recipe for pan haggerty with a twist. Pan haggerty is a traditional Northumbrian side dish containing potatoes, onion and cheese. It certainly isn't a traditional Burns Night side dish, but cheesey potatoes are hard to argue with! The Isle of Mull Cheddar brings deeply savoury, even boozy notes and really makes the flavours sing. We think it's the perfect accompaniment to your haggis or stew. Aside from Burns Night this also works really well served for brunch with crispy bacon and a fried egg.
1kg floury baking potatoes, cut in slices approx. 5mm thick
500g onions, thinly sliced in half moons
A leek or two, thinly sliced
100g salted butter
250g Isle of Mull Cheddar, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Gather your ingredients and prepare.
In a heavy based, oven proof pan, melt a small knob of the butter (about 20g). Line the pan with slices of potato and fry on a low heat until golden. It’s best to choose the widest slices of potato for this stage, as this will form the top of the dish when you turn it out of the pan.
In another large saucepan alongside, melt a large knob of the butter (about 60g) and fry off your onions and leeks until lightly golden and completely soft.
Once your first layer of potatoes is golden, and your onion mix is cooked, scatter a layer of onions on top of the potatoes, followed by a layer of grated cheese. Give the layer a good grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Add your next layer of potatoes, I like to use wider rings around the outside of the pan, and then use up the smaller pieces in the middle. This helps build a good structure in the dish. Repeat the onion and cheese layer. Save your biggest remaining slices of potato and a sprinkle of cheese for the top.
Once all of the onion mix and all but one layer of potatoes and cheese are used up, add a final layer of potatoes and dot each slice with a smidge of butter. My pan is about 30cm wide and gave me 4 layers. Sprinkle your remaining cheese on top and pop in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour until the pan is bubbling, the top of the pan haggerty is golden and your potatoes are cooked through when tested with a skewer.
Before serving, loosen the sides of the potato with spatula, place a large plate on top and flip the dish to turn it out onto the plate.