Celebrate Lancashire Day with free helping of hotpot

Chef Anson Bolton
Chef Anson Bolton

Free hotpot is up for grabs at Clitheroe Castle next Wednesday, November 27th, as part of the town’s Lancashire Day celebrations.

Top chef Anson Bolton, of the Millstone at Mellor, will dish out the county’s favourite bite at the castle gates from 11 am to noon. nAnd the famous shire horses from Blackburn’s Thwaites Brewery will also make an appearance.

Clitheroe Town Crier Roland Hailwood will herald the Lancashire Day proclamation in Market Place shortly before 11 am. Lancashire Day commemorates the day in 1295 when the county sent its first representatives to Parliament and was first observed in 1996 with the loyal toast to “The Queen, Duke of Lancaster”.

Anson Bolton, who will be using only local ingredients in his hotpot, including lamb from Gisburn and Pendle, said: “Lancashire Day gives us the opportunity to declare how proud we are to be Lancastrians, as well as celebrate the county’s food and drink, which is among the finest in the UK. I will be using only the best local ingredients in my hotpot and invite residents to join me and my staff for a taste of Lancashire’s signature dish.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s tourism and events officer, Tom Pridmore, added: “We are delighted that one of Lancashire’s finest chefs and the famous Thwaites shire horses will be helping us celebrate Lancashire Day at historic Clitheroe Castle, one of the county’s premier heritage sites.

“This event promises to showcase Lancashire at its best and residents are invited to join us for a taste of something special.”

The Millstone at Mellor, one of Thwaites’ Inns of Character, dates back to the mid-1700s, when the Edlestone family – village farmers, wheelwrights, blacksmiths and millers – started selling ale to supplement their income.

Chef-patron Anson Bolton has been in charge since 2001 and has achieved two AA rosettes for the past 10 years. A major refurbishment in spring 2011 gave the Millstone a new lease of life and saw it achieve the coveted AA 5-Star Inn rating, one of just 28 in the UK.

Lancashire hotpot is traditionally made from lamb or mutton and onion topped with sliced potatoes and left to bake in the oven all day in a heavy pot on a low heat.

Originating in the days of heavy industrialisation in Lancashire, it is quick to prepare, filling and tasty.

Coronation Street character Betty Turpin was famous for her version of Lancashire hotpot, which was served in the fictional Rovers Return Inn. It was also mentioned in a Wallace and Gromit film as a means of comfort in an uncomfortable situation.