I lived in England for about 6 months and then spent several years travelling back and forth to London for business. And during that time I developed a real appreciation for traditional English food. The English get sort of a bad rap for their food – and there is definitely a certain current within English cuisine that is not great – but the traditional English foods that you would find served in a village pub are often really good. There are some great English food recipes out there and these are a few of my favorites.
Scotch eggs is one of those things that needed to be invented. Somehow, some way, someone was going to invent the scotch egg – and my palate, if not my waist, is the happier for it. An egg covered in minced pork? What’s not to like? There’s something about pork and eggs that just works. And when they are done right they are fantastic. Try these.
I’m not sure if guys are supposed to like scones, but at this point I really don’t care. They are too good. Cream scones are fantastic on their own and when you start to add things like clotted cream and raspberry jam…well, all I can say is getting between me and the plate could be dangerous.
Sunday is the day England comes into its own in the food world. A traditional English Sunday dinner is a thing of rare beauty. The standing rib roast, the gravy, the onions, and rosemary…Now picture that served on a brisk Sunday at a friend’s home or with family at the village pub. As Vera Lynn sang, there will always be an England. And a tasty one at that.
This cornish pasty recipe is truly a classic. Traditionally this was a hand food – sort of Cornwall’s answer to the sandwich, but I’ve always used a knife and fork – just to keep up appearances, of course… When done right the crust is nice and flaky and the filling is pretty much the definition of comfort food.
What food is more English than toad in the hole? It is a Yorkshire Pudding with sausage baked into it. I like to put a soft boiled egg on top of it and let the yolk run over the sides. I think that is my own innovation. It might not be traditional English, but it’s good. This toad in the hole recipe is a good place to start.
Ok, so for you purists a Welsh Cawl is not technically a traditional English food – it’s Welsh. But it’s also quite delicious and on a blustery day can make everything a little better.
Not everyone loves lamb – I do – but I have seen someone who doesn’t eat lamb happily consume an entire shepherd’s pie. (And no, no one told him – he was so happy.) Some of the gastropubs in London have tried modern interpretations but none of them are nearly as good as the original.