I have been living in the US for just over 2 years now and I am often asked what meals are considered quintessentially British. I must be honest this is a question which I often struggle to answer because the UK is in fact a smorgasbord of world culture with a huge array of international food dominating the landscape. With this being said, my chef buddy Mike Volitich and I have spoken at length about traditional British food, and these are the dishes which you have to try if visiting the UK or if you are cooking up some British food at home.
Toad in The Hole
This glorious British dish is very easy to make, speedy and most importantly very tasty indeed. The dish is basically a large Yorkshire pudding which has sausages baked into it before being smothered with beef stock gravy. To make the Yorkshire pudding mix simply mix equal parts of water and milk with one cup of plain flour, whisk the batter together with an egg. Pour the batter into the shallow cake tin and pre-cook the sausages for 10 minutes. Once the sausages are pre-cooked add them to the cake tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes before pouring gravy over the top.
A Shepherd’s pie is made using lamb mince, peas and carrots with some gravy that is then placed in a deep oven-proof dish and then topped with mashed potato. Brown the lamb in a frying pan with the carrots and the peas and then layer it into the dish. Once you have an even layer of lamb top the dish with mashed potato and make it even using a fork. Place the dish in the over for 35 minutes at around 180 and just before it finishes top with grated cheddar cheese before serving. This is a heartwarming meal which will put a smile on everybody’s face.
Fish and Chips
Cooking authentic fish and chips on your own is not always easy but the key to it is that you use good quality ingredients and that you take your time on the preparation. In order to get the very best chips you will need to shun the famous French Fries and instead use good quality potatoes. Cut the chips nice and thick and then deep fry until they are ready. With the fish you should try to use a nice piece of cod, skate or plaice, dust it with flour and then dip it into a mix of light batter before deep frying. Serve the fish and chips with some tartare sauce, some mushy peas which can easily be bought in a can and a nice chunk of buttered bread. This may not taste the same as you would find on the British seaside but it is still a delightful dish to prepare.
What is your favorite British meal?