Stay in & cook - traditional local comfort food

Easy Pan Haggerty Recipe

Pan Haggerty is one of the most typical Northumbrian recipes, famous for warming you up in the cold weather. It’s the north east’s lighter answer to gratin or Dauphinoise potatoes, without the cream. In fact, it’s thought that the name “haggarty” (like haggis) derives from the French word “hache” or “chop”. Popular in the poor mining villages surrounding Newcastle, it was a cheap dish served to fill the family.

Nowadays, some people like to add crispy fried bacon, sausages, or herbs, but we’re giving you the most basic recipe that you can add to if you like.


Serves 4-5

Cooking time: 1 hour

You’ll need:

A large oven dish, large frying pan and large saucepan


75g butter

500g onions, thinly sliced

1kg potatoes, (such as King Edward/Maris Piper/Marabel from Asda) peeled and cut into 5-6mm slices

225g strong-flavoured hard cheese, such as mature cheddar, grated





1. In a frying pan, gently fry the onions in 50g of butter until they’re soft and turning brown

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes until just tender. Drain well, then set aside.

3. Add the remaining butter to the bottom of the oven dish, add ⅓ of the potatoes and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until they begin to turn crispy.

4. Remove from the oven, season, add half the fried onions, a third of the cheese, then a second layer of potatoes and the remaining onions. Season well, then scatter half of the remaining cheese. Add the last layer of potatoes, then cover with the remaining cheese.

5. Return the dish to the oven and bake until golden. You can grill it at the end for 5 minutes to crisp up the top, if you prefer.

You can serve this as a side dish with meat and steamed vegetables, or just as a comforting snack. Tradition says we should serve it in the pan it was baked in!


Written by Lucy