There are some classic British recipes that every keen cook should know how to rustle up. Most are simple, easy fare; some are trickier but worth attempting. None of these recipes are difficult to make, though contemporary variations can be more challenging.
The most traditional recipes – the ones that are synonymous with hearty British cooking – are meaty, filling and mouthwateringly divine. They include a lot of pies. The British like a pie. There’s shepherd’s pie (lamb mince and mashed potato); cottage pie (beef mince and mashed potato); pork pie (best eaten in a pub, with a pint of ale); Cornish pasty (essentially, a portable meat and vegetable pie) and fish pie, which is a remarkably versatile dish with interchangeable fillings and toppings.
Then there’s the ubiquitous roast, that’s not so much a recipe as an assembly of meat, vegetables and gravy. It’s often topped with a bulbous Yorkshire pudding that is nothing more than an overblown savoury pancake, but delicious nonetheless. The same can be said for sausage and mash: bake some sausages, mash some potato – put the two together and bingo!
Fish and chips can be a little more problematic to recreate at home and is often best left to the professionals. However high-spec your kitchen is fish and chips taste best when smothered in salt and vinegar, and are eaten out of a newspaper wrapping, outdoors, in the freezing cold.
If you’re compiling a list of great British deserts, then you must include sticky toffee pudding; bread and butter pudding; trifle; Bakewell tart; Eccles cakes; Eton Mess; apple crumble; scones; and fudge. Sticky toffee and bread and butter puds may be stodgy, but they’re warming, comforting sweets that can counteract the depressing effects of a rainy British day. Other recipes are regional but are so delicious they’ve spread throughout the country – and beyond. These include Bakewell tart from Derbyshire; Eccles cakes from Manchester; and Eton mess, a sugary concoction of cream, meringue and strawberries that was originally served at cricket games between esteemed private schools Eton and Harrow. If there were a British dessert recipe that had to be pronounced king, however, it would be trifle, which was first recorded in the 16th century and remains as popular today.
For delicious recipes, visit http://www.greatbritishchefs.com