7 classic British comfort foods – travel blog – tripbase
If the British know anything about food, it’s how to serve winter warmers. As a place that sees more than its fair share of wind, rain, and gray skies, it’s no surprise that this nation has developed a cuisine that’s high in carbohydrates, thick with meat, and invariably drizzled with rich gravy. .
Whether you’re looking to protect yourself from the cold or lift your spirits after a bad day, check out these 7 classic British comfort foods:
1) A flag in a hole
There’s no toad in this dish, I promise. Instead, you get delicious sausages tucked away and cooked in a batter (known as Yorkshire pudding) that bakes well on top of the sausages, creating the visual effect that ‘toads’ pop out of their holes.
This dish is usually served with vegetables and a sauce cooked with fried onions.
Not a toad in sight, just sausages rich in paste. Photo by Annie Mole.
2) Pea and ham soup
Bright green, thick with comfort and stuffed with baked ham that melts in your mouth, you must be warned not to order this soup as an aperitif because it is often too heavy to handle even for a starter.
Best served with hot crusty bread and for a real treat, add a spoonful of crème fraîche for an even more delicious richness. A thinner alternative soup is made with split peas, which resemble lentils.
Bright and delicious green pea and ham soup. Photo by the CSSdiv.
3) Stew and meatballs
Usually made with beef and vegetables such as carrots, leeks and onions, the basic ingredients are slowly cooked in a pot with broth for hours, allowing the meat to tenderize and the sauce to thicken. .
The meatballs are made with tallow, which is a wonderful pasty way to absorb the stew juices and are added towards the end of cooking. Beef can be replaced with lamb, chicken, or just additional winter root vegetables for a different taste.
The meatballs are perfect for absorbing the sauce in this root vegetable stew. Photo by Girl Interrupted Eating.
4) Fish pie
If you are looking for comfort food for the winter but without sauce, fish pie is the perfect alternative. Traditionally white fish like cod or haddock was used, but recipes expanded to include other ingredients from the sea like salmon and shrimp.
The fish and seafood are cooked in a creamy white sauce and topped with a deep crust of mashed potatoes. Serve with vegetables to maintain your nutrient intake on cold days and nights.
Fancy an alternative to dishes in sauce? Dip into a creamy fish pie. Photo by TummyRumble.
5) Pie and mash
Something of a British institution, the pie and mash has its origins in the East End of London where it was served to the working class during the Victorian era.
Created from the overabundance of Thames eels and wrapped in a dough to make it transportable, the pie was born. Mash was added as an inexpensive way to finish the meal.
Today, meat replaces eels, however, in the green-colored East End eel sauce. known as “liqueur” (it is alcohol-free), which is still served as a tradition.
Otherwise, you can’t beat the steak and beer pie served with a generous dollop of creamy mash and an endless amount of meat sauce.
Pie and mash — the classic from London’s East End. Photo by Dani PL
6) Bangers and mash
Named for a time when sausages had a high water content and tended to burst, crack and sizzle in the pan, bangers are a British favorite and are the perfect comfort food.
There are many varieties of sausage to choose from. They are usually made from pork or beef and flavored with many different combinations of seasonings ranging from sage to apple to chili.
Cumberland Sausage is a fun and flavorful swirl of sausage that will satisfy even the biggest appetite. Best served with an onion sauce, consider a glass of British Ale to wash it all down.
Sizzling bangers and mash. Photo by Gifrancis.
7) Cottage pie
Just when you thought that it was not possible to serve another variation of meat and potatoes, you discover the cottage pie.
The basic ingredient is ground beef, which is cooked in a sauce with vegetables such as carrots, onions and peas. A generous serving of mashed potatoes is placed on top, and when baked, the pie comes out with a crispy crust and more sauce is often added for good measure.
An alternative version is shepherd’s pie, which uses lamb instead of beef.
The mash crust is the perfect filling for cottage pie. Photo by WordRidden.
Heavy in potatoes and generous in sauce, British winter warmers know how to offer the perfect culinary comfort against the cold.
Have you tried any of these dishes? What’s your favorite winter comfort food? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this article, you might also like: 8 Ways to Eat Your Way in the Southern United States.
Main photo: The Brits Really Know How To Serve Winter Comfort Food by dichohecho.