British Classic Dishes
British Food Fortnight is upon us, so I’m busy brushing up on some British classic dishes and discovering new ways with our wonderful home produce. Timed to coincide with our autumnal glut of goodness, the annual celebration is a great reminder of the amazing variety of ingredients on our doorstep.
Buying British isn’t just great for your plate. Seasonal fruit and veg are chock-full of the kind of nutrients you need for that time of year. There are fewer food miles involved, and your food won’t be as tired by the time it reaches you. (I don’t know about you, but long haul travel certainly takes its toll on me.)
Choosing home produce also supports British farmers – and gives you peace of mind that the meat you buy has been reared to some of the world’s highest welfare standards. To be sure of the best quality and taste, just look for the all important Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb labels.
I only need to glance at the What’s in Season When planner on my fridge to see how spoiled we are for choice all year round. Here’s some inspiration to help you celebrate British Food Fortnight over the next two weeks – and beyond. Even the Brussels sprout gets its moment in the spotlight 🙂
Pea and Ham SoupSee for yourself why a dense fog came to be known as a ‘pea souper’. A bowlful of this tasty soup is thick enough to stand a spoon in. John Torode’s version of the British classic will take care of the Sunday ham leftovers and is a meal in itself. But don’t skimp on the buttered bread for dunking!
The Ultimate British Sunday RoastWhat says ‘best of British’ better than the Sunday roast? If you haven’t yet perfected your roast beef and Yorkshire pud dinner, now’s your chance. Once you have this dish down to a fine art, you need never again wonder what you’ll feed the family at the weekend.
Scotch Lamb Stovies Here’s a modern spin on a Scottish stalwart. Why not try serving up Scotch Lamb stovies with a more unusual root vegetable for a change? Goodbye carrots, hello celeriac! If you have windfalls to use up – or just want to take full advantage of the British apple season – make extra chutney to use later. Trust me, it goes with everything!
Beef WellingtonThere’s no denying it, this recipe can be a bit of a fiddle. But if you want to impress, Beef Wellington ticks all of the boxes. As if the Scotch Beef fillet that takes centre stage wasn’t enough, this showstopper also features Parma ham, pâté and mushrooms. Rich and delish!
Toad in the HoleToo cute! Expect a chorus of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ when you bring out these mini servings of toad in the hole. Filled with tasty Scotch Beef and spring onions, they come with a (subtle) hit of horseradish on the side. Best of all, they’re much easier to make than they look: now that’s my kind of cooking!
Steak and Ale PieBritish craft beers and real ales are massively popular right now. And who knew we had the weather to produce our own wine too?! But when the sun has long since stopped warming Britain’s vines, plump for a hearty pie. Pair your favourite Scotch Beef with your top tipple – as long as it’s stout or ale(!). Slow cooking the pie mix makes for melt-in-the-mouth moreishness. Yum!
Gourmet Cottage PieGive this British classic an extra bit of oomph. Swapping the usual mince for some Scotch Beef shin makes a much more substantial meal of your cottage pie.
Roast LambScotch Lamb is at its very best in the autumn, so make it your Sunday roast meat for a change. Fresh rosemary is one of my all-time favourite herbs – and you’ll see (smell?!) why when this dish is cooking in your oven. Fragrant!
The Brussels SproutYou can rely on Jamie Oliver to do something awesome with the humble Brussels sprout. For all the naysayers out there, this one is for you. Bacon and chestnuts elevate the little green leaves to such heady heights you need never again give them a pass at Christmas.
Bangers and MashCooking doesn’t get much simpler (or tastier!) than this. Use the best British pork sausages you can find and your favourite spud for mashing. For a little kick, I always add a teaspoon of mustard (British wholegrain, of course!) with the butter and milk as I mash.
Beef Stew With DumplingsWorcester sauce, balsamic vinegar and Scotch Beef stewing steak are the secret ingredients in this one-pot warmer. Throw it all together, get it in the oven and then get down to the messy bit – my favourite part! – making your dumplings.
Bread and Butter PuddingThey definitely didn’t make it like this at my school! Delia Smith’s take on the archetypal British school pudding features your choice of candied lemon or orange peel – though I like to add a bit of both.
Victoria SpongeSo simple, yet soooo good: this is my birthday cake of choice. (Just as well I’m past having candles on my cake – that icing sugar would go everywhere!) Grab one of the last few punnets of British strawbs for the filling, or substitute a (generous) layer of jam for the fresh fruit.