Beef and prune hotpot

At this moment you are going “EWWWWW” aren’t you…. admit it 🙂

I admit to feeling rather Mrs. Cropley-esque (The Dibley Poisoner) this morning when putting together some recipes, especially when this called for prunes mixed with beef and to mix the prune water with marmite and trickle it over the sliced potatoes.

Having just eaten every single morsel up on my plate I have to say this was absolutely delicious (even with me using a minced beef alternative) and I would have no problem serving this to anyone. YES there may come a moment when the person eating the hot pot may stop chewing and look skywards with a curious look on their face, trying to figure it out, (when they come across a pruney bit) but that adds to the mystery of the dish.

Enjoy, oh weird 1940s culinary experimenters!!!

C xxxx

Beef and Prune Hotpot

  • 4 oz prunes
  • 1/2 teaspoon marmite or 1/2 stock cube
  • 1/2 lb of minced beef (I used a vegan alternative)
  • 1.5 lbs potatoes thinly sliced
  • 2 onions or 2 leeks
  • 1 oz margarine
  • salt and pepper
  • water


  1. Put the prunes into a container, cover with water, and soak for 12 hours (alternatively you can stew the prunes over a moderate heat by covering with plenty of water and simmering for 15 minutes)
  2. Strain the prunes and set aside 1/4 pint of the prune water and add 1/2 teaspoon of marmite or 1/2 stock cube and stir until dissolved
  3. Brown the minced beef or vegan alternative in a pan. Add in the prunes and mash up with the beef
  4. Grease a casserole or deep pie dish and arrange a layer of thin sliced potatoes on the bottom, cover with the leeks or onion, add some seasoning
  5. Cover with the browned beef
  6. Place another layer of onion or leeks
  7. Cover with a final layer of thinly sliced potatoes, dot margarine over the top and season
  8. Trickle over the prune and marmite water
  9. Sprinkle over some herbs (I added some wild thyme from my garden)
  10. Place the casserole into the oven at 170C (330 F) for 15 minutes then cover and cook for a further 1.5 hours. Uncover 15 minutes towards the end and brown the top

15 thoughts on “Beef and prune hotpot

  1. Actually, it looks quite nice. It’s no stranger to use prunes than to use carrot or browned onion or tomato sauce to sweeten the dish. You wouldn’t think twice about using HP, which is very sweet.

    • That is very true and if truth be known I often sweeten savoury dishes with a little chutney or fruit especially for spicier dishes- somehow it enhances the richness of the flavours! xxxx

  2. That sounds absolutely gorgeous; I can’t wait to try it. I love prunes. Really, if I do this experiment I won’t have to think too much, just follow your posts.

  3. Sounds delicious. I’m totally giving it a whirl this weekend – when the weatherman has promised weather cool enough to actually turn on the oven.

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  5. One word for this dish!
    I was a little dubious about it until it was cooking when the aroma was quite appealing, then the tasting….well the dish is empty and plates clean.
    Can’t wait to do it again and perhaps try some other ingredients with it too.

  6. Hi carolyn I can’t get the 1940s house epiodes to work could you please send me the link thanks Olivia Irwin
    I made your meaty gravy last week it was so yummy

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