British cuisine takes a bit of a bashing sometimes. Former French president Jacques Chirac had a go at British cooking way back in 2005. It’s best to ignore Mr. Chirac. British food can be nourishing and delicious. London has a growing gastronomic reputation that rivals even Paris. (Take that, Chirac!) Brits have long loved dining on foreign food. We can’t move for Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants in the UK. That means we sometimes neglect our own culinary masterpieces. With that in mind, here are some great British meals for you to try as soon as possible.
It’s for good reason that much of Europe calls the Brits “rosbifs.” A roast beef dinner on Sundays is part of the British culture. Sitting down with the whole family around an enormous dinner table is one of the great joys of British life. The beef is the key component of any Sunday dinner. You must be thorough when cooking it, so it’s tender and full of flavour. After that, you’ve just got all the trimmings. Roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy are all fantastic. Everyone does their Sunday dinner in their own special way. Make it your own.
Toad in the hole
The name may be peculiar, but don’t let that put you off. Toad in the hole is classic British comfort food. It consists of sausages mixed in with homemade batter. The sausages should be succulent and meaty – pork is the best. The batter must be crisp around the edges, but fluffy too. It’s tricky to get right, so you’d be better off buying some to try before attempting it yourself. It’s a wonderful addition to any family dinner table.
Balti is a variety of curry served in a thin bowl, known as a “balti bowl.” You may not think of curry when you think of British cuisine. Au contraire – Balti first originated in the UK, gaining popularity in Birmingham. That’s a classic example of the British cultural tradition. The UK adapts to other cultures better than any other nation. That adaptability is part of what makes Britain great. Balti is variable. It’s another dish that you can make your own. Some say it’s impossible to get a true Balti outside of the West Midlands. Don’t listen to them – give it a try.
Fancy some dessert? Named after Queen Victoria, the Victoria sponge cake is another British classic. It’s a simple recipe, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty. Just whip up a soft sponge mixture and stick a layer of cream and jam in the middle. It’s a good recipe to try with new bakers or young children. You can also have fun with the topping. A dusting of sugar is traditional, but you can alter it if you like. You may add fruit or icing, perhaps, to make it special.
Have I got your stomach rumbling yet? I hope so. British food is simple and delicious. Anyone can have a go at cooking British. That’s the beauty of it. Have fun in the kitchen, and you’ll soon be serving up a whole range of tasty British treats.