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A Taste of British Cuisine

Updated on January 22, 2020
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella is interested in different cuisines from around the world and has written a selection of articles on this subject

The Ever Popular Roast Beef Dinner


Typical British Cuisine

Here is a selection of ever popular meals which are classed as traditionally British but can be found throughout the world because of their popularity,

There are also regional variations to make your discovery of British recipes all the more interesting.

Fish and Chips

Throughout the length and breadth of Britain, fish and chips are always top of the menu whether the meal is prepared at home or bought ready cooked at a traditional fish and Chip shop. With white fish from the sea (predominantly cod or haddock) and potatoes from the earth what better combination of fresh produce could there be? The battered deep-fried fillets of fish are served with optional accompaniments such as mushy peas, salt and vinegar and curry sauce. The typical fish and chip meal is a firm favourite with families throughout the country and is enjoyed on a regular basis. What is a trip to the great British seaside without a plate full of golden fish and chips as you sit in a quaint quayside cafe? Or why not buy a takeaway portion wrapped in paper as you sit on the harbour wall watching the world go by, sharing your leftovers with seagulls?

Full English Breakfast

Bacon, sausages and eggs fried with button mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and baked beans can satisfy many a hearty appetite until lunchtime and beyond. However the British don’t indulge in such a big breakfast every single day and reserve a ‘nig fry up’ for an occasional or weekend treat. The traditional English breakfast can also include toast and marmalade washed down with tea, coffee and orange juice.

Traditional Sunday Roast

This is the family event of the week where a roast leg of lamb, joint of beef or pork or some poultry such as chicken or turkey is accompanied by a selection of vegetables such as sprouts, carrots and cauliflower. Yorkshire puddings made from flour, eggs and milk are used throughout Britain and are not just popular in Yorkshire as the name may suggest. Rich onion gravy and stuffing or apple, cranberry or horseradish sauce completes the meal which is traditionally served at British pubs as a Sunday lunch as well as in the home. The meal is easy to prepare and cook; first the meat and potatoes are roasted then the vegetables are boiled and the Yorkshire puddings are placed in a hot oven for twenty minutes before dinner is served. A traditional Christmas dinner in Britain is just a more lavish version of the typical Sunday roast.

The Cornish Pasty

A typical Cornish pasty is a meal in itself and in centuries past has been a substantial meal for Cornish tin miners. Eaten hot or cold, a pasty usually consists of cubes of lean beef, turnips, potatoes and diced onions, seasoned only with salt and pepper and encased in short crust pastry. A true pasty should be strong enough, according to the Cornish, to fall down a mineshaft and survive intact. Sweet versions are popular too and pasties have been known to be made with a savoury filling at one end and a sweet one at the other. The Cornish pasty is a regional favourite that has become popular throughout Britain; patsy shops are now to be found in almost every major city.

The Sandwich

The sandwich, which gets its name from the Earl of Sandwich who reputedly discovered the delights of placing a filling between two slices of bread, is a hearty meal in itself. Traditional sandwich fillings include rare roast beef and horseradish, pork and apple with sage and onion stuffing or salmon and cucumber. The variations on a theme are virtually limitless and you canconjure up your own concoctions for fillings to enjoy on summer picnics.

The ‘Ploughman’s Lunch’

On a bright summer’s day in the beer garden of an: ‘Olde worlde’ country inn who can resist a ‘Ploughman’s lunch’ consisting of a selection of cheeses, crusty bread and fresh salad and pickle? Accompanied by a glass of wine or some locally brewed beer this simple meal can be a veritable feast.

The Savoury Pie

The pork pie is an incredibly fattening alternative to the sandwich or the ploughman’s lunch if a cold lunch is preferred and is a popular item included in picnic baskets and luncheon buffets. Steak and ale pies are firm lunchtime favourites in all British pubs, washed down with a pint of traditional ale.

Meat and Two Veg

The Lancashire hot pot is a dish for a winter’s day which will warm you to the very core; this casserole of lamb in rich gravy topped with crusty browned potato slices will literally: ‘Put meat on your bones’. Other fond favourites include the cottage pie which is made with minced beef and gravy, carrots, peas and onions and topped with mashed potatoes. A regional variation is the shepherd’s pie, made with lamb.

The British love their ‘Meat and two veg’ meals which can be hearty and satisfying even for the hungriest amongst us and visitors to the country will be sure to find something on the menu that they would try again and again and even ask for the recipe to take back home

© 2015 Stella Kaye


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