Every region and just about every county in the British Isles has at least one local variation on a basic casserole. These recipes could often be adapted to use whatever vegetables and meat were on hand. Some used leftovers from the Sunday roast. Nearly all contain potatoes and onions. One such regional dish is panackelty.

Believed to have originated in Sunderland or County Durham, panackelty is popular throughout the northeastern part of England. Onions, meat, and potatoes are layered and cooked slowly. Root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips may also be added. But don’t confuse this with pan haggerty, a vegetarian variation consisting of layers of onions, cheese, and potatoes.

Since the dish was designed to use whatever was on hand, recipes may vary widely. The version below uses corned beef, a little bacon, carrot, and turnip. Put it all together and you have a cheap but nutritious supper.


Feeds 4-5.

1 12oz / 340g can corned beef, cut into slices

1/4 lb / 110g streaky bacon, roughly chopped

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 turnip, peeled and sliced

1 carrot, sliced

2 large potatoes, sliced

3/4 pt / 400 ml beef broth

salt and pepper

panackeltyPreheat the oven to Gas 5/ 190C / 375F.

In a pan, fry up the bacon and onions until they have softened. Put them in the bottom of a casserole dish and season with a little salt and pepper. (Don’t overdo the seasoning as you will be adding some to each layer and the corned beef may be fairly salty already.)

Layer the turnip, beef, and carrot, adding a little seasoning to each layer. Finish with a layer of the sliced potatoes.

Pour the broth over the meat and vegetables. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for about an hour. Remove the covering and return the dish to the oven for another 15 minutes to allow the potatoes to brown.

Serve either with some green vegetables or some good crusty bread. Or both!



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