CONNOISSeurs of true authentic Lancashire hotpot today slated a supermarket for selling the iconic dish made with meat from the other side of the world.
Sainsbury’s has come under fire for selling a Lancashire hotpot ready meal as part of their “British Classics” range – even though it is made using lamb from New Zealand.
The packaging even features a Union Jack on it.
Food lovers in Lancashire have criticised the supermarket giant for failing to use local produce in the dish and say it isn’t a real Lancashire hotpot unless the lamb is from Lancashire.
Chris Bell, head chef at The Longridge Restaurant, owned by Paul Heathcote, said: “Sainsbury’s have made their version of what they think a Lancashire hotpot is, but I think for it to be a proper Lancashire hotpot, the ingredients should be from Lancashire.
“There are enough farmers in Lancashire to produce enough lamb for Sainsbury’s, so why they need to go to the other side of the world for their lamb I don’t know.
“To call it Lancashire hotpot when the lamb is from New Zealand is outrageous.”
Butcher Michael Clarke, who owns W B Clarke and Sons meat stall on Preston Market, believes there needs to be regulation to stop supermarkets selling items under the pretence of them being “British”.
He said: “There are so many meals out there which are called ‘British’ when the meat in them is actually from all over the world.
“Big supermarkets get away with all sorts and someone should regulate it.
“Lancashire hotpot should be made with Lancashire produce. Lancashire meat is better as it hasn’t travelled all those miles and in my opinion, it tastes better. Why would you buy lamb from halfway across the world when there is a better product on your doorstep?”
Eddie Cowpe, who runs Huntley’s on Whalley Road, Samlesbury, near Preston, said: “All our meat is local and homegrown, even if it means sometimes paying a bit more.
“Lancashire hotpot is a Lancashire dish and foreign meat should not be in it otherwise it isn’t a Lancashire hotpot.
“Lancashire meat tastes better and you can’t beat the proper stuff.”
A spokesman from Sainsbury’s said: “We pride ourselves on our transparent labelling policy and in this case the ‘Great British Classics’ name and use of the Union Jack is to highlight the fact that Lancashire Hot Pot is a uniquely British dish.
“All the meat used in our fresh ready meals is British, with the exception of lamb when it is not in season. We use British lamb in this product when it is in season, but when it is not we use lamb from New Zealand and label this clearly on both the front and the back of the products.”