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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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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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  • ABRAMS
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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.


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.

Traditional British Cooking: Simple Recipes for Classic British Food

By Susannah Blake

Brand: Ryland Peters n Small
Hardcover (239 pages)

Traditional British Cooking: Simple Recipes for Classic British Food
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Sample the best of British with this one-stop guide to traditional British fare. Pies, roasts, casseroles, and teatime treats--all the old favorites are here. Take inspiration from Soups, Appetizers, and Snacks, and make a Leek and Potato Soup to warm you up on a cold winter's day. Tuck into an authentic Fish Supper from the Fish chapter or create a hearty entree from Poultry and Game. For an unbeatable Meat dinner, devote some time to making Rolled Pork Roast. No wholesome meal would be complete without something On the Side, such as crunchy Roast Potatoes or Yorkshire Puddings. End your authentic dinner with a comforting Bread and Butter Pudding from the Desserts chapter. Then for Teatime--the epitome of British culinary tradition--make some Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam. *Simple recipes for classic British comfort food-a style of foood that's definitely back in fashion. *Includes recipes for Pantry essentials, such as Plum Chutney and Lemon Curd.

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook: The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes

NOURISH
Released: 2017-03-21
Hardcover (426 pages)

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook: The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes
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  • NOURISH
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What do you cook for the people you love? Asked this question, 100 of Britain’s food heroes have shared their most beloved recipes to make this extraordinary cookbook. Nigella Lawson divulges how to bake her Chocolate Guinness Cake and Rick Stein fries up Shrimp & Dill Fritters with Ouzo. Yotam Ottolenghi would serve Pea & Mint Croquettes and for Jamie Oliver, an unrivalled Fantastic Fish Pie. These are just a few of the incredible recipes provided by the best and brightest on the British food scene, including chefs such as Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, Delia Smith, James Martin, Nigel Slater, Thomasina Miers, Mark Hix, Jason Atherton, Marco Pierre White, Claudia Roden and more.

Compiled by award-winning food editor and author William Sitwell, The Really Quite Good British Cookbook is keenly anticipated and a stunning object in its own right. Ultimately it is a celebration of the breadth, creativity and richness of Britain’s unique food culture.

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 Great British Book of Baking: 120 Best-Loved Recipes From Teatime Treats to Pies and Pasties

By Linda Collister

imusti
Released: 2010-09-21
Hardcover (352 pages)

The Great British Book of Baking: 120 Best-Loved Recipes From Teatime Treats to Pies and Pasties
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Wooden spoons at the ready for Linda Collister's The Great British Book of Baking. This is the official book to accompany the hit BBC2 TV series The Great British Bake-off, presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. This book takes us on a tour of the very best in baking our nation has to offer -- from Eccles cakes to Cornish pasties, Chelsea buns to Scottish gingerbread. With trips to notable landmarks from baking history -- Melton Mowbray and Sandwich among the more famous, as well as locally loved secrets from towns and villages around the country -- the book highlights the importance of baking as part of our national heritage. Over 120 recipes, as well as numerous adaptations and suggestions, cover the whole range of baking skills from sweet jam tarts to savoury game pie. These are recipes that have been passed through the generations, securing themselves as baking classics, and include recipes from the contestants of The Great British Bake Off. Whether you want to try your hand at the delicate art of petticoat tails shortbread or dish up a hearty steak pie to a hungry family, you will be looking between the pages of The Great British Book of Baking time and time again, as Linda Collister has brought together the very best recipes from around the British Isles. Linda Collister has written over twenty-five books, having trained at the Cordon Bleu, then La Varenne in Paris. Sheila Keating is a food writer and author, with a special interest in the provenance of British food.

Recipes: The Cooking Of The British Isles: Foods of the World Series

By Adrian Bailey

Time Life
Spiral-bound (104 pages)

Recipes: The Cooking Of The British Isles: Foods of the World Series
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Content Chapters include: How to Prepare and Seal Canning Jars * Preserves * Vegetables and Pickles * Cheese * Breads, Buns and Cakes * Fish * Meat, Poultry and Game * Savory Puddings and Pies * Sweet Puddings and Pies * and much more.


 
 
 

 
 
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