9 Of the best classic British foods

Helen Best-Shaw

Here are some recipes for both well-known and less common British offerings. If something has fallen off your radar, now’s the opportunity to remind yourself of why these have gained legendary status

What are you eating tonight? Italian, Indian, French or some other world cuisine? I love the fact that the cooking of so many countries is easily accessible in the UK, from recipes to specialist ingredients. But sometimes it’s nice to cook something closer to home and make a traditional British dish. 

 

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the hole—sausages baked in batter, is a great British starting point. There’s no getting around this—it’s a rich, filling dish perfect for the colder months of the year, but this recipe has some great ideas for spicing it all up, and even suggests making your own sausages. 

 

Eve’s Pudding—simple and delicious!

We can’t go on long before we start mentioning puddings. What’s British cooking without a pudding, whether sweet or savoury? Eve’s pudding—apples baked under a Victoria sponge cake mixture, is just crying out to be served with lashings of rich, eggy homemade custard. Yum! 

 

Bubble & Squeak

An old way of using up leftovers, bubble and squeak is endlessly adaptable depending on what you have available. Originally made with mashed potato and cabbage, it takes well to pretty much any green veg; kale, Brussels sprouts and so on. Just because it’s economical and filling doesn’t mean it’s not tasty. I love it!

 

Traditional Lancashire Hotpot

One for fans of Coronation Street, but even if you can’t tell the Rover’s Return from the Queen Vic, there’s a great argument for re-acquainting ourselves with this meat and potato bake, originally dating from the early 19th century. Using cheaper cuts of meat, but slow cooked for maximum richness and cut-with-a-fork consistency, this makes for a superb tasty family supper. 

 

Scotch Eggs

Did you know that there’s an annual championship for scotch eggs? Boiled eggs covered in sausage meat, breaded and deep fried, they were invented at posh grocers Fortnum and Masons as the perfect picnic food—no cutlery needed. Now they’re the field of competition for pubs from around London. Here’s how to make your own; the starting point for glory? Or just a tasty snack exactly how you like it?

 

Healthy Coronation Chicken

The original recipe for this dish, created for the Queen’s 1953 coronation, is rather long and complicated and so here’s a version that’s healthier but just as delicious. Coronation chicken is one of the great prepare-ahead dishes making it perfect for parties. 

 

Onion pudding 

This is a new one to me, and a few minutes’ research shows that onion pudding probably originates in the North. A suet pastry is filled with chopped onion and steamed (or, as with this recipe, cooked in the microwave), making for a hearty side dish to go with a Sunday roast. 

 

Cottage Pie Recipe

Cottage pie or shepherds’ pie—the lamb/beef distinction is relatively recent in the history of the dish, but whatever you’re using to make it, there’s something particularly lovely about taking one out of the oven with the potato covering carefully forked into a pattern, all crispy and browned on the ridges. 

 

Lemon Posset 

Now this really is a traditional recipe to end. Possets originate from medieval times as curdled milk (yuk!) but have developed into set cream dishes like this one. Very simple to make—only three ingredients—and if served as here in individual glasses, a real wow dish to end a meal. Rich, lemony and delicious. One of my favourites!

 

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 10 years.  

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