15 BRITISH CLASSIC DISHES

YOU SHOULD ADD TO YOUR REPERTOIRE
By Carmen | 22 January, 2024
I moved to the UK about 10 years ago from France.
When discussing this imminent move with my friends and family, it was inevitably followed by:
“Make sure you bring an umbrella.” or “Oh, but the food…” - usually delivered in a tone that would not be out of place at a funeral.
You see, the Brits do not have the best of reputations when it comes to food, certainly not in France anyway! Fish and chips, roast beef, cup of tea - that’s about as in-depth as British food gets as far as the French are concerned!

Now I had already had a little more exposure to British food thanks to a South African father, however, I will admit to a slight shock when first exploring British food and the culture around it. French cuisine is full of complex, rich flavour, intricate technique and reverent celebration of produce. And so the simpler, heartier fare of British food just seemed, well, exactly that - simple, frugal, basic.

However, I explored the local markets, I tried the lesser-known traditional dishes and dined in the classic British pubs. And I began to fall in love with these wholesome flavours. Because British cuisine is not simply about the list of ingredients or the techniques used to create them but also the sense of community and tradition that accompanied each meal and the warmth and hospitality embedded in British food culture.

I’m French at heart, and I would never turn down an intricately constructed Paris-Brest, but I must admit, a simple slice of Victoria sponge and a cup of tea are equally appealing. 

BRITISH CLASSIC DISHES WITH A TWIST

So yes, you will, in fact, find me defending the good bits of British cooking. And to celebrate the best of British cuisine, we’ve taken 15 essential British dishes and given them a modern twist. So if you find Cottage Pie a bit old school or you’re keen for a fresh take on Victoria Sponge, then our upgraded versions of those British recipes won’t disappoint.

For all of our fabulous and flavorful British recipes head to our British recipe collection and give them a go for your next meal.  

1. SEAWEED BATTER FISH & CHIPS 

Ask anyone to name you a British speciality and Fish & Chips is bound to come up first. And who’s to argue really? Picture a delicate, crispy batter enveloping flawlessly cooked fish, accompanied by delectably golden chips and a selection of traditional sides – a dish that exudes both nostalgia and comfort.

In our rendition, we've incorporated Aonori into the beer batter, elevating the fish's flavour by introducing a hint of the sea. Complemented by our meticulously prepared triple-cooked chips, and the result is a satisfying British seaside classic. 
 

2. COTTAGE PIE & BONE MARROW MASH

Cottage Pie is a cherished classic and a unanimously beloved choice in numerous British households that at times has fallen victim to its popularity. In this version, we’ve elevated our mashed potatoes to a new level of indulgence, we've chosen to infuse them with the sumptuous richness of roast bone marrow. This luxurious mash serves as the perfect canvas for the moreish beef filling. 

3. MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

Whether or not you're a fan of the oh-so-British and odd-looking Marmite, these Marmite-infused roast potatoes are set to win you over. A perfectly roasted potato is a culinary masterpiece, and this recipe not only stands out as one of our finest for roast potatoes but possibly as one of our culinary triumphs overall. The salty Marmite spread doesn't overwhelm; instead, it imparts a delectably addictive, savoury, and meaty flavour to the crispy potatoes, compelling you to indulge in second, third, and even fourth servings.

4. ANCHOVY BUTTER ROAST CHICKEN

We've embraced the quintessentially English Gentleman's Relish and incorporated it into a dish that never fails to captivate a crowd for Sunday Roast lunch: roast chicken. For those unfamiliar, Gentleman's Relish is a flavour-packed traditional British condiment made primarily from anchovies, butter, herbs, and spices. In this recipe, we’ve recreated the flavoured anchovy butter to impart a savoury, umami-rich flavour that enhances the taste of the roast chicken. And because we like to go the extra mile when it comes to flavour, we serve this Roast Chicken with a bacon-infused gravy. Need we say more? 

5. CRAB & SAFFRON LEEK PASTIES

We've chosen to incorporate delectable crab into the filling of these Pasties, paying homage to the wonderful maritime flavours of the British coast. To enhance the experience, we've elevated the crab with the addition of creamy saffron leeks, introducing a subtle sweetness and minerally freshness. Surprisingly easy to prepare, these pasties are poised to become a beloved favorite!

6. GUINEA FOWL & WILD MUSHROOM PIES

To each their own but in our opinion, a quintessential British pie should be in individual portions and entirely enveloped in pastry – no room for token-pastry-lid impostors. These scrumptious pies not only celebrate the timeless charm of the favourite Chicken & Mushroom Pie filling but also elevate it with the flavourful touch of guinea fowl and the earthy notes of wild mushrooms.

7. WILD GARLIC & GOAT’S CHEESE SCONES

These simple yet delightful wild garlic and cheese scones offer a fantastic way to savour the unique fleeting flavours of wild garlic. The inclusion of goat's cheese provides a delightful tang that perfectly complements the wild garlic. Quick and easy to prepare, these savoury English scones can be whipped up in no time for dinner, making them an excellent pairing with soup or cheese.

8. SAUSAGE ROLLS WITH CRANBERRY & BRIE

I have found that if there is one thing that most Brits can agree on, it’s their love for a good British Sausage Roll. Ideal as a snack, for party nibbles or a delightful addition to a picnic hamper, these Cranberry and Brie Sausage Rolls stand out as the perfect treat. The combination of brie and cranberries creates a harmonious pairing that adds a delightful sweet and salty touch to the beloved sausage roll.

9. VICTORIA SPONGE WITH ROAST STRAWBERRIES AND ALMOND

Time for cake! And there is not a more cherished and popular British cake than the Victoria Sponge. Unfortunately, its classic status sometimes leads to lacklustre versions being churned out in abundance. With this rendition, I endeavoured to present the Victoria Sponge as a luxurious showstopper, showcasing its true glory. Roasted jammy strawberries, almond and vanilla flavoured sponge and a lightly sweetened almond-infused buttercream aim to bring a well-deserved homage to the delectable Victoria Sponge.

10. RHUBARB, STRAWBERRY AND MALT CRUMBLE WITH MALT CUSTARD

The sweet and biscuity malt flavour introduces a delightful balance to this irresistible British rhubarb and strawberry crumble recipe. The addition of a Malt Custard brings extra flair to this cherished British family favourite. The malt flavour, introduced using Horlicks powder, a malted drink mix favoured by many British children, adds a comforting and nostalgic touch, making this crumble a truly satisfying treat.

11. CARROT CAKE WITH CARDAMOM & LABNEH FROSTING

Step into any reputable British coffee shop or tea room, and you're likely to encounter a slice of carrot cake—a quintessentially British indulgence that conveniently allows you to convince yourself you're ticking off one of your 5-a-day servings.

In this unique twist on the classic carrot cake, I drew inspiration from the Middle East, and infused the cake with cardamom, bringing a rounded and gentle spice to the mix. The real excitement, however, lies in the labneh frosting. Not only does it add a delightful twist to the flavour, but it also happens to be a slightly healthier alternative. 

12. SUMAC ETON MESS

Every so often, the most delightful desserts emerge as a result of happy accidents. Eton Mess is a prime example, and quite frankly, the outcome is sublime. The British version of Tarte Tatin in a way! To enhance this British classic, we've introduced sumac, a delightful addition that complements the fruity strawberries and imparts a touch of bright acidity to elevate this fantastic and surprisingly easy dessert.

13. COFFEE & WALNUT CAKE WITH TAHINI BUTTERCREAM

The Coffee and Walnut Cake holds a special place as one of my all-time favourite British cakes. It flawlessly combines the youthful thrill of light, buttery sponge with tooth-achingly sweet buttercream, all the while maturing into a decidedly grown-up treat with the infusion of coffee and walnuts. While staying true to those nostalgic slices that captivate our fantasies, we've elevated ours by introducing a mascarpone-tahini buttercream, enriching the cake with even deeper, richer, and nuttier flavours. It's truly the perfect companion to your cup of coffee.

14. RHUBARB JAM ROLY POLY

Jam Roly Poly, a classic British bake from yesteryear, is traditionally enjoyed drenched in an indulgent amount of custard, and its combination of soft sponge and sweet jam is simply delightful. In our twist on this comforting classic, we've opted for rhubarb jam instead of the usual strawberry, introducing a lip-smacking tart sweetness that propels the dish to new heights. 

15. SUMAC SHORTBREAD BISCUITS

Sumac plays a starring role in our shortbread recipe, imparting a delicate lemony and cranberry-like brightness that harmoniously contrasts with the luxurious richness of the buttery base. To elevate this sweet treat to its pinnacle, we've adorned it with a white chocolate finish, creating the ultimate indulgence to the otherwise unassuming British treat. 
If this has stirred your interest in British cooking, check out our full repertoire of British classic dishes for more inspiration. Let us know how you find them in the comment section below. 

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