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British Cooking Recipes: let's hear 'em...

Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire Pudding, Bubble and Squeak, Neeps and Tatties, Haggis, Gammon and Pineapple---I happen to love British Isles cooking, pub food, home cooking, you name it. The fact no small part of my ancestry [hence family recipes] is from the British Isles has to account for some of it---but I've been up in Scotland at a pub where the owner, with lovely bangers and mash to offer, apologized that they were behind the times and didn't have a McDonalds. Ouch! We assured them we vastly preferred what we had on our plates, and toasted them with a nice sip of Scotch.

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  1. As you may have gathered, British food, rightly or wrongly, has a bad reputation here in the States (rightly for my taste, though Yorkshire pudding with a roast can be delicious).

    1. will put my thinking cap on and post some of my recipes, thinking things like shepherd's pie, fish pie, bread and butter pudding, victoria sandwich cake. My problem is that I don't use recipes so cook by feel and taste not to exact quantities. I am just on my way out for some ice cream but will post later or tomorrow.

          1. Sticky Toffee Pudding. this recipe is a bit different than the one I tried(mine used treacle), but it is good. Even my British colleagues said it was authentic!


            I have the Cooking of the British Isles cookbook, and I have yet to try the syllabub, but that is in the works.

            Peace, jill

            1. My dad is from Scotland, growing up he always made a dish called "Mince". Whenever we went to Scotland as a kid, all of my aunts would good this too. My grandmother's was the best and she taught my mom to make it too. I now have her over 60 year old enameled cast iron pot to make it.

              Diced onions, celery and carrot slices.
              Ground beef, 90% lean is good, I wouldn't go leaner than that.
              Salt & Pepper
              Cover with water and boil away. Constantly breaking up the beef so that it's a very fine mince.
              The liquid will reduce.
              Toward the end add a heaping spoon of Bisto (english gravy mix).
              The texture is interesting...it's not too thin, but not dry either. Like a good thickish gravy, but with all of the meat, it's pretty tight.

              The key is the simplicity. Don't add anything else, no garlic, herbs, etc. Nothing. I've tried that and ruined it.

              Served with buttered boiled potatoes and cabbage it's the best. My complete and perfect comfort food.

              3 Replies
              1. re: geg5150

                add some creamy mash potatoes on top, bake in the oven for about half an hour and you have cottage pie. Substiture lamb mince for beef and you have shepherd's pie.

                Me, I like a bit of ketchup and HP Brown sauce in the meat.

                1. re: geg5150

                  My dear, and sorely missed late grandfather used to make mince... thank you for the reminder of a sweet memory.

                  1. re: Olivia

                    What is it about the grandfathers? My grandfather's was the best too. (Better than Gramma's, but I'd never tell her that!)

                2. Neeps and Tatties---goes well with Haggis, meatloaf, or any other meaty dish---is very simple. Boil peeled quartered Irish potatoes, boil peeled quartered turnips until done, drain, mash both together, about 2 large potatoes per one large turnip, add a little salt to taste, and add real butter. It's a nippy variation on mashed potatoes, and perks up some of your quieter meat dishes.

                  1. some of the odd dishes from our family's holiday tables:

                    Batter Pudding


                    cakes "frosted" with rolled marzipan

                    horsebeans (gak) also known today as favas

                    1. I'm an American living in England...When I'm looking for a traditional English recipe for anything in particular, I check with Delia! www.deliaonline.com.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Kagey

                        British friends of ours made us one of her recipes for dessert one time and it was TO. DIE. FOR.
                        Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding. One of the best things I ever put into my mouth. I make it for dinner parties now. It is a real WOW dish.

                        1. re: debit

                          Your endorsement made me go have a look! Funny that she mentions it's an American recipe! But I think I may have to try it soon...Thanks for the tip.

                      2. Try kedgeree, one of the strangest and most wonderful breadfasts in the world. Essentially rice with curry powder, boiled eggs and smoked fish.


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Hoosierland

                          I've had the veg version (no fish) too. Awesome. As is veg haggis, BTW - had it at a pub in Edinburgh and it was nice and spicy.

                          Still, nothing beats the English breakfast. Again, I've only had the veg version, so I can't speak for the meat components, but they seem to have a pretty loyal following.

                          1. re: piccola

                            What exactly is an English breakfast without meat? As I recall, bacon and sausage (often blood) are major components of said meal. I guess with eggs, beans, tomatos, mushrooms and toast it is still a full meal.

                            1. re: Hoosierland

                              Exactly - eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and tea. I wouldn't be able to eat more if I wanted to.

                        2. How can anyone forget:
                          Scotch eggs http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
                          Cornish pasties http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/514817
                          Roast fowl with bread sauce http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/512346
                          or a Sunday roast with all the trimmings!

                          1. http://www.joyofbaking.com/Millionair...

                            They are my husband's favorite, next to cupcakes that is...

                            1. I adore Welsh Rarebit/Rabbit, Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas, Finnian Haddie, and yep, Bubble and Squeak....

                              Not really recipes, but I love a good fry-up with toast and beans, and also buttered toast with Marmite. Oh, and kippers too!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Olivia

                                the best part about a fry up is putting a peice of bread in the pan after everything is done and soaking up all the fat and grease - fried bread - nothin beats it!

                              2. Steak and Kidney pie!
                                Egg and Cress sandwiches
                                Kippers - yum
                                Honeycomb mould
                                Strwberry mousse (like grandma used to make)
                                Sponge pudding with treacle
                                Cheese on toast (anything on toast)

                                Not recipes - Ribena and Orangina (sp?)
                                SOft boiled egg with soldiers
                                salad cream
                                Barley water
                                a really good cup of (proper) tea dammit:)

                                1. I think British cooking can be fantastic.
                                  In one of Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef books, he has a recipe for toad in the hole that is delicious. Here is a reasonable approximation:

                                  I've made it with breakfast sausages and it turns out great.

                                  The big difference is that Oliver's recipe includes make a sort of red onion-balsamic vinegar reduction as the gravy-absolutely great (or pukka, I guess).

                                  I also second the mince recipe-my mother, who is from Scotland, used to make it quite a bit when we were kids

                                  1. As a brit living in the pacific northwest, I have a few.. My all time favorite is summer pudding. A classic desert - here is how it works:

                                    Get a pudding bowl. Not too big. Something about the size you would have your breakfast cereal in. You want to make sure it is as tall as it is wide.

                                    Generously butter the bowl interior. Take some really good, slightly stale white bread, and line the inside of the bowl with it. Get creative with a knife. You want no holes!

                                    In a saucepan over a medium/low heat stew some blackberries, raspberries, blueberries with a couple of tablespoons of sugar, until the juice starts coming out of the fruit.

                                    Pour all this into the bread bowl. Make a bread lid for the bowl. Put a plate over the top of the bowl, and a heavy weight on the top of the plate, to help compress everything together. About 5lb's should do the trick. Bung it in the fridge overnight.

                                    To serve - turn the bowl over (opening facing down on a plate), tap the bowl. Gentle shake it. Let the pudding slide out. Cut into slices, and serve.

                                    Bloody delicious!!

                                    Other than that. Delia Smith has the classics. Jamie Oliver does some classics with a spin. Updated if you will for a more modern taste.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mattwright

                                      summer pudding is fab with double cream or clotted cream

                                    2. Just got an email from a friend vacationing in England. She's seen Jammie Dodgers, Stinking Bishop, sarnies, and jacket potatoes on menus. I can figure out the last two, but what on earth are the first?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Glencora

                                        jammie dodgers are biscuits (well you call them cookies) they are 2 pieces of biscuit with red jam in the centre and a hole cut out of one of the biscuits so the jam pokes through. then they have sugar over them (not powdered).

                                        stinking bishop is a cheese.

                                        1. re: Glencora

                                          Jacket Potatoes = Baked Potatoes.
                                          Sarnies = Sandwiches

                                        2. Perhaps no one has listed this because it is so basic, but here is a foolproof recipe for Yorkshire Pudding:

                                          1 1/2 C sifted flour
                                          1 1/2 tsp salt
                                          3 room temp eggs
                                          1 1/2 C room temp milk
                                          1/2 C beef drippings and/or butter

                                          Whisk all ingredients except drippings just until large bubbles form. I usually do this way ahead of serving so the gluten relaxes. To bake, either pull the roast out 20 minutes before it is done, pour batter in, and suspend roast over pan so juices drip into pudding, or 35 minutes before serving transfer roast to another oven, up temperature to 400, and bake pudding in for 30 to 35 minutes. The second method produces better results for me. While it may be blasphemy I have made Yorkshire Pudding to accompany roast chicken. Delicious results.