You don’t have to visit one of London’s top restaurants to get a taste of fine English cuisine. By following these simple recipes, you can make a classic dish of your very own. London has been undergoing a gastronomic revolution in recent years, and yet it’s still hard to beat these three all time great recipes if you want to get the real taste of London food.
Fish And Chips
- Vegetable Oil for frying (or use beef dripping for a truly traditional touch)
- Salt and Pepper
- 225g Cod or Haddock fillets
- 225g Flour
- Half a pint of beer
- 900g Potatoes
Nothing says England more than fish and chips, they’re easy to cook but it takes some thought and effort to cook them perfectly. Peel your potatoes and cut them into long chip shapes. The secret now is to parboil the potatoes for around ten minutes. This ensures that the middle will be fluffy while the outside is crispy.
Season the chips and then place the, into hot oil and deep fry them, taking special care when placing them into the oil. This should take around ten minutes, which is enough time for you to cook the fish. Mix the flour and beer to form a batter. Coat the fish thoroughly and then fry in a mixture of oil and butter for around eight or nine minutes.
Dry both the chips and fish to remove excess oil, and then serve with peas and a wedge of lemon.
Pie And Mash
- 250g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 110g butter
- 4 tbsp cold water
- 1 medium sized egg
Pie filling ingredients:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g beef mince
- 1 onion
- 6 mushrooms
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 150ml red wine
- 300ml beef stock and a beef stock cube
- Potatoes Butter
- Salt and pepper
Peel potatoes and cut them into cubes before placing into boiling water. Next create the pastry by mixing the flour and water with the egg and knobs of butter. Mix slowly and roll out on a floured surface to form the pastry.
Fry the onion for four minutes, add the beef and fry for a further four minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and then simmer in the beef stock and red wine, before crumbling a beef stock cube into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and cook slowly for twenty minutes.
Leave the contents to cool and then place into a pie dish, before covering with the pastry. Bake at 200C for around twenty minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Mash the potatoes with generous helpings of butter, and then season to taste. For a real London touch, serve the pie and mash with a side helping of jellied eels, which you can buy on London’s street markets.
Jam Roly Poly
After either of these classic main courses you’re sure to want a dessert, and jam roly poly is hard to beat.
- 50g Salted Butter
- 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 250g Self Raising Flour
- Vanilla Extract
- 50g Shredded Suet
- A quarter of a pint of milk (known as a Gill in London)
- 100g of jam (strawberry, raspberry, plum and apricot are all great choices)
Mix the butter and flour together with a drop of vanilla extract, and then add the caster sugar. Now pour in the suet followed by the milk, and mix together until a sticky dough is formed. Roll out into a rectangular sheet, and then brush jam onto it. Be very careful not to leave at least an inch border or else the jam will escape during baking. Carefully roll the pastry and then seal the join by pinching it together. Enclose loosely with foil or baking paper so that a parcel is formed, and cook at 175C for around 50 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool for five minutes and then enjoy this indulgently sweet treat with cream or ideally custard.
These three meals are simple to prepare and cook, and will give you a real idea of the delights of English food.