Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, beef stew and dumplings, shepherd’s pie and apple crumble; are you salivating yet?
The French joke about traditional British grub but at least the Brits cook their food as opposed to showing it to the oven and serving beef still mooing!
Britain tends to be cold and rainy; it does not become a green and pleasant land through constant sunshine and balmy breezes. So the British invented some good hearty recipes that warm the cockles of the heart and stoke the fires of the belly.
A thick beef stew prepared with loads of root vegetables including: potatoes, parsnips and swede. Light fluffy herb dumplings made with suet, flour, herbs of choice and water, added after the beef has simmered for at least a couple of hours and cooked until they have doubled in size. Served in huge bowls with lashings of toast or bread cut into “soldiers” for dunking, there is no better meal to warm you down to your toes, when the wind is howling outside the window.
For pudding how do you fancy “Spotted Dick”? Again a suet based dish packed full of plump sultanas, raisins, currants in fact any dried fruit; steamed for a couple of hours and served with lashings of hot custard.
If you do not fancy dried fruit how would you like “Roly Poly Pudding” Same suet based recipe (6oz self raising flour, 3oz suet, 2oz caster sugar 1/4pt milk or water) but pop jam in the basin and again cover tightly before steaming for a couple of hours. Lovely!
An old favourite is “Cottage Pie” made with mince (“Shepherd’s pie if you use lamb mince”) For those watching their weight you can boil the mince with salt, pepper and garlic or any other condiment you like then drain the water off after the mince is cooked and add fresh water. Cheats can use gravy mix to thicken the water, add diced cooked carrots (or any other cooked veg. you fancy) cover with a thick coat of mashed potato and for a special crunchy coating, cover with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Slam in a hot oven until its golden brown and enjoy!
Whilst the oven is in use and you fancy another pudding how about apple crumble? Cheat by cooking the sugared, peeled apple in the microwave first, then covering it in crumble mix (8oz flour 4oz marg. or butter, 4oz caster sugar. Rub flour and fat together until they are like fine bread crumbs, then mix in the sugar.) Once again cook in the oven until it is golden brown and serve with creamy custard or just cream!
The next time the wind blows and the thermometer drops, do not just get out your thick jumpers get out your apron and start cooking.