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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   UK   >   Recipes

   
 

British Recipes


Historically, British food had good reputation, especially in the Middle Ages, but in the last century or so, much of that reputation has been lost internationally. This loss in reputation was caused by a combination of factors: unadventurous menus, some poor quality restaurants, and the effects of rationing (introduced during World War II, but not finally abolished until 1954).

In recent years however, there has been a great renaissance in British cuisine, and a greater interest in the culinary arts throughout the British Isles (partly inspired by celebrity chefs on TV). High quality traditional and regional recipes are commonplace, new influences have been introduced from the Mediterranean cuisine and Indian cooking (and the rise of a new Anglo-Indian cuisine).

Some popular British meals and foods include:
  • Sunday roast - The traditional main meal of the week, eaten on Sundays, with left-overs used in various recipes for the next few days. Roasted meat is served onion gravy, roast potatoes and vegetables (such as Brussel sprouts), although the choice of meat may vary between lamb, pork, beef or chicken, and each of type of meat has its traditional accompaniments (mint sauce with lamb, apple sauce with pork, horseradish or mustard with beef, small ("chipolata" sausages and redcurrant jelly or cranberry sauce with chicken).

  • Fish and chips - Fish (usually cod or plaice), battered and fried, and served with French fries. Mushy peas (a soup-like dish made from peas) is a popular side dish with this meal, especially in the North of England.

  • Full English breakfast - Sausage, bacon, eggs (fried eggs, scrambled eggs, or boiled eggs), fried bread, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, black pudding (a type of blood sausage) and baked beans.

    Full English Breakfast

  • Kedgeree - Flaked fish (usually smoked haddock), with boiled rice, eggs and butter. The dish originated during the British Empire in India, where it was often eaten for breakfast.

  • Cornish pasty - A baked pie with a distinctive shape, traditionally filled with beef, onion, potato and swede (rutabaga).

  • Pie and mash - A pie containing minced (ground) meat, with a side dish of mash potato. This is a traditional dish eaten in the East End of London, where historically it was eaten with "jellied eels", (eels stewed and cooled), the water from cooking the eels being used in making the pies.

  • Steak and kidney pie - A pie filled with a mixture of diced beef, and lamb or pork kidneys in a thick sauce.

  • Shepherd's pie - Ground ("minced") lamb covered with a layer of mashed potato, and optionally cheese. Variations exist with beef ("cottage pie") or fish ("fisherman's pie").

    Shepherd's pie

  • Bangers and mash - Sausage and mashed potato.

  • Toad in the hole - Sausages cooked in batter.

  • Lancashire hotpot - Meat, onion and potatoes baked in a pot or casserole dish for a long time on low heat.

  • Chicken tikka massala - An Anglo-Indian dish made by cooking chunks of marinated chicken in a curry sauce. If eaten as a main meal it is normally served with rice or naan (Indian bread), but variations are popular as a (cold) sandwich filling or even as a pizza topping! Some surveys suggest that it is now the most popular dish in the UK.

  • Balti - Another Anglo-Indian dish, this was comes from the Asian community of Birmingham who developed the recipe based on a Punjabi traditional recipes. Balti is a meat (chicken or lamb) in a thick curry sauce, cooked and served in a heavy iron or steel pot. The curry is eaten by scooping it up with naan (Indian Bread), the restaurants that serve it being known as "balti houses".

  • Arbroath smokie - A lightly smoked haddock, originally from Arbroath in Scotland.

  • Mince and tatties - Minced (ground) beef and mashed potatoes.

  • Haggis - One of Scotland's most famous traditional dishes, haggis is made using a sheep's heart, liver and lungs (collectively known as the "pluck"), minced (ground), and mixed with oatmeal, onions, suet, spices and stock, and then boiled in the sheep's stomach.

  • Cock-a-leekie soup - A Scottish soup made from potato, leek and chicken stock.

  • Welsh rarebit (sometimes called "Welsh rabbit") - Grated cheese mixed with beer, milk and butter, and then spread on toast and grilled (broiled).

  • Spotted dick - A steamed pudding made from dried fruit (especially raisins) in dough. Served hot, usually with custard.

  • Apple Crumble - This is quick to prepare but tasty pie-like dessert. It is made from apples and sugar (sometimes flavored with spices such as cinnamon) covered with a loose layer of sweet pastry. This is placed in a oven-proof dish and placed in the oven and baked until the pastry turns golden brown. Apple crumble is normally eaten with custard, but it delicious with cream or ice cream as well. Other fruits can be used as well (or instead), to make dishes such as apple and blackberry crumble, blackberry crumble, or rhubarb crumble (made using sticks of rhubarb).

  • Bakewell tart - A pastry shell spread with with jam (fruit preserve), and then filled with a sponge-like filling.

    Bakewell tart

  • Mince pies - A traditional dish eaten at Christmas. Mince pies are a sweet pastry, nowadays filled with a mixture of dried and chopped fruits and nuts in suet, brandy or rum, but historically filled with spiced meat and ground dried fruit. They are traditionally accompanied with brandy butter.

  • Christmas pudding - Another dessert traditionally eaten at Christmas, Christmas pudding is a steam dessert made with dried fruit, nuts and suet, and soaked in brandy or other alcoholic beverages. Like mince pies, Christmas pudding is traditionally eaten accompanied by brandy butter.
Below are some recipe books and cookbooks for British food:


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Books about British Cooking and Recipes


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The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking

By Linda Collister

BBC BOOKS
Released: 2014-09-23
Hardcover (320 pages)

The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking
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A beautiful, fully photographic cookbook of 120 original recipes from both the judges and the bakers of the much-loved BBC1 series

The ultimate guide to baking whether a complete novice or a well-practiced home cook, this book is for every baker. Using easy-to-follow techniques, there are reliable recipes for biscuits, bread, large and small cakes, sweet pastry and patisserie, savory pastry, puddings, and desserts. Each chapter transports the reader on set and showcases the best recipes from the challenges including Mary and Paul's Signature Bakes, Technical Challenges and Showstoppers, plus the best bakers' recipes from the show. There are step-by-step photographs to help guide readers through the more complicated techniques and stunning photography throughout, making this the perfect gift for all bakers and Bake Off fans.

Great British Bake Off: Christmas (The Great British Bake Off)

By Lizzie Kamenetzky

BBC Physical Audio
Released: 2014-11-21
Hardcover (256 pages)

Great British Bake Off: Christmas (The Great British Bake Off)
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Christmas is a time of friends and family. Of anticipation and excitement. Of good times—and, of course, great food. This book celebrates everything surrounding Christmas with 100 delicious bakes for the festive season, as well as dishes for the big day itself. Whip up tempting Christmas nibbles like Mini Potato Farls with Smoked Salmon, or Parmesan Palmiers, perfect for a party. Spice up your home—and get the kids involved, too—with Gingerbread Tree Ornaments and a Cinnamon Christmas Wreath. And, of course, there are plenty of delicious ideas for what to do with all those leftovers. Each chapter also includes spectacular recipes from Bake Off finalists, and Mary and Paul reveal the secrets to those classic Christmas dishes—whether it's Paul's perfect mince pies or Mary's ultimate Christmas pudding. Packed with everything from edible decorations and delicious gifts to party dishes and showstopping centerpieces, this book is the perfect Christmas companion.

British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales

By Colman Andrews

ABRAMS
Released: 2016-11-08
Hardcover (328 pages)

British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales
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The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales celebrates the best of British cuisine old and new. Drawing on a vast number of sources, both historical and modern, the book includes more than 150 recipes, from traditional regional specialties to modern gastropub reinventions of rustic fare. Dishes like fish pie, braised brisket with pickled walnuts, and a pastry shop full of simple, irresistible desserts have found their way onto modern British menus—delicious reminders of the depth and breadth of Britain’s culinary heritage. The book blends these tradition-based reinventions by some of the finest chefs in England, Scotland, and Wales with forgotten dishes of the past worthy of rediscovery.


Traditional Cooking of the British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales: 360 Classic Regional Dishes With 1500 Beautiful Photographs

By Annette Yates & Christopher Trotter

Lorenz Books
Released: 2018-02-06
Hardcover (512 pages)

Traditional Cooking of the British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales: 360 Classic Regional Dishes With 1500 Beautiful Photographs
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Here are all the best-loved dishes: Lancashire Hotpot, Cornish Pasties, Bara Brith - and lesser-known delights.

Great British Cooking: A Well-kept Secret

By Jane Garmey

William Morrow Cookbooks
Released: 1992-05-06
Paperback (320 pages)

Great British Cooking: A Well-kept Secret
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This book is a revelation to Americans who have never tasted real Cornish Pasties, Scotch Woodcock (a splendid version of scrambled eggs) or Brown Bread Ice Cream. From the sumptuous breakfasts that made England famous to the steamed puddings, trifles, meringues and syllabubs that are still renowned, no aspect of British cooking is overlooked. Soups, fish, meat and game, vegetables, sauces, high teas, scones, crumpets, hot cross buns, savories, preserves and sweets of all kinds are here in clear, precise recipes with ingredients and utensils translated into American terms.

The Hairy Bikers' British Classics: Over 100 recipes that celebrate simple, timeless cooking and the nation's favourite dishes

Seven Dials
Hardcover

The Hairy Bikers  British Classics: Over 100 recipes that celebrate simple, timeless cooking and the nation s favourite dishes
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'Fabulous' DAILY MAIL In this brand-new collection of the finest classic recipes, Si King and Dave Myers, AKA the Hairy Bikers, celebrate the riches and delights of great home cooking. Always triple-tested, always full of flavour, Si and Dave's recipes are everything we love about great food. From savoury classics such as the perfect prawn cocktail, homely homity pie, rich Lancashire hotpot and herb-stuffed shoulder of lamb, to sweet crowd-pleasing puds like jam roly poly and deep-filled lemon meringue pie, there are recipe favourites on every page. With chapters on soups and salads, family suppers, classic comfort food, Sunday dinners, BBQ and picnics, tea time and puddings - this collection caters for all. It also has a fantastic Christmas section on classic festive feasts with all-new Biker twists. So, be inspired to cook the very best of the Bikers in this new collection of their favourite recipes and ever-popular modern British classics.

The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family

By Paul Hollywood & the Bake Off Team

Sphere
Released: 2018-12-04
Hardcover (320 pages)

The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family
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THE BRAND-NEW OFFICIAL GBBO BOOK, FEATURING RECIPES FROM THE NEW SERIES

From children's birthdays and charity bake sales to celebrating with a loved one or simply enjoying sweet treat over a cup of tea and a catch-up with a dear friend, Get Baking for Friends & Family is a celebration of all those shared moments: both in the joy of making and in the simple pleasure of indulging in something really delicious.

The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends & Family will encourage and empower amateur bakers of all abilities to have a go at home, taking inspiration from The Great British Bake Off's most ambitious bakes but with simplified recipes and straightforward instructions that will enable even complete beginners to impress their nearest and dearest.

Featuring more than 100 beautifully photographed sweet and savory bakes, with recipes from Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and the series 8 and 9 bakers.

Recipe for Life: The Autobiography

By Mary Berry

Penguin
Released: 2014-04-29
Paperback (432 pages)

Recipe for Life: The Autobiography
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From Queen of Tarts to the nation's heart, Mary Berry shares her Recipe for Life. From the moment she came into the world—two weeks early, throwing her parents' lives into disarray—Mary has gracefully but firmly done things her own way. Born in 1935, in the city of Bath, Mary's childhood was a curious mix of idyllic picnics and ramblings, and alarming air raids; of a spirited and outdoorsy home life and a dreaded school existence. All nearly cut horribly short by an almost fatal bout of polio when she was 13, which isolated Mary in hospital, away from beloved family and friends for months. Recovery saw her turn to her one true passion—cookery. And so began a love affair that has—so far—spanned six remarkable decades; from demonstrating ovens in the early 1950s to producing glossy food magazines in the 1960s and 1970s, gradually becoming the country's most prolific and—many would say—best loved cookery writer. Until her emergence in the 21st century as a TV sensation and style icon on the Great British Bake Off. As a working mother, at the heart of a busy household, Mary became an expert at the art of juggling, even bringing her working life into her home with her Aga school. And there have been challenges, one terrible tragedy, and many joys along the way. In this touching, evocative, and fascinating memoir, we accompany Mary on her journey of nearly 80 years; a life lived to the full, with a wicked sense of fun and an eye for the absurd, it is the life of a delightfully traditional but thoroughly modern woman. Fans of The Great British Bake Off can't wait to get their hands on Mary Berry's Recipe for Life.

The Great British Bake Off: Everyday

By Linda Collister

BBC Books
Released: 2013-09-02
Hardcover (320 pages)

The Great British Bake Off: Everyday
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This book is for the baker who wants to whip up a cake for an office party, a traybake for a kid’s birthday, or a pudding to follow a simple supper. Using straightforward, easy-to-follow techniques, there are foolproof recipes for cakes, traybakes, bread, biscuits, tarts, pies, puddings, and desserts. If you are a confident baker or ready to move onto the next stage, each chapter also showcases the best recipes from the series, including Mary and Paul's Signature Bakes, Technical Challenges and Showstoppers, plus the best bakers' recipes from series four. There are step-by-step photographs to guide you through the more complicated techniques and beautiful photography throughout, making this the perfect gift for all bakers. As usual, everyone who buys the book will be able to download the digital booklet of finalist recipes after the finale has transmitted in October. And as a thank you to every one who has bought the previous Great British Bake Off books, we will be featuring snaps of some of the best home-bakes, sent in by readers, on the endpapers of the book.

The Great British Baking Show: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes

By The Baking Show Team

Clarkson Potter
Released: 2019-10-29
Kindle Edition (288 pages)

The Great British Baking Show: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes
 
Product Description:
THE BRAND-NEW OFFICIAL BAKING SHOW BOOK!
 
The ultimate cake-baking bible: the first official, Americanized cookbook from The Great British Baking Show
 
The Big Book of Amazing Cakes brings the magic of The Great British Baking Show to your kitchen with easy-to-follow recipes for every shape, size and delicious flavor of cake you can imagine.
 
Featuring the very best cakes from inside the Baking Show tent, alongside much-loved family favorites, stunning showstoppers and classic bakes, the book is packed with expert advice and helpful tips for decorating. From simple sponges to spectacular celebration cakes, aspiring star bakers will have everything they need to create the perfect bake for any occasion.
 
Includes exclusive recipes by the season 10 bakers, and favorite bakes from contestants across all ten seasons.


 
 
 

 
 
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