British food: 3 recipes to try this week

Mar 13 2023, 10:39 | by Gambero Rosso
British cuisine is underrated. From traditional street food to desserts, here are 3 recipes to try at home.

Essential and sincere, simple and yet delicious, British cuisine is much more than you think. Here are three unmissable recipes to try for a taste of England's most authentic food.

Cornish pasty

For the official recipe of the Cornish pasty, we relied on the Cornish Pasty Association, an association created by artisan producers in the United Kingdom who have joined forces to promote and protect the product.

For the crust

500 g. Strong flour (250-320 W)

120 g. Lard or margarine

125 g. Butter

1 tsp Salt

175 ml cold water

For the filling

400 g. Pork loin, cubed

300 g. Potatoes, peeled and cubed

150 g. Rutabaga

150 g. Onion, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

In a bowl mix salt and flour, add the lard or margarine to obtain large clumps. Add the water and knead until the dough is soft and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 3 hours in the refrigerator. Once rested, roll out the dough and cut into circles about 20 cm in diameter. Arrange the vegetables and meat on the discs with salt, pepper and other spices to taste. Close the pastry dough to obtain a crescent shape and curl the edges. Brush the beaten egg on the pastry and bake in a ventilated oven at 165°C for about 50-55 minutes, until the pastry is well browned.

Bread-and-butter pudding recipe

For the pudding recipe, we asked the Flemish food historian Regula Ysewijn, author of different books on British cuisine such as 'Pride and Pudding', 'The National Trust Book of Puddings', 'Brits Bakboek', 'Oats in the North&Wheat from the South', 'The Official Downtown Abbey Christmas Cookbook'.

For 2x20cm roasting tins

2 slices bread cut into small pieces

25g sultanas

350ml milk

50ml thick (double) cream

1 mace blade

2 tbsp light brown sugar

4 yolks or 2 whole eggs

2 tsp icing sugar for dusting

Butter for greasing

Heat the oven to 180°C and grease the moulds. Butter the bread slices and arrange a layer of bread, buttered-side up, in the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of sultanas. Gently warm the milk and cream together with the mace blade and brown sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add some warm milk and whisk well before gradually adding the remaining milk mixture, beating constantly. Pour the custard over the prepared bread layer and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the custard has set and the top is golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Find out more about the history of Shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s pie

For the preparation of the real shepherd’s pie we asked Treefolk’s Public House, an English pub in Rome, Trastevere area, for help, which makes an exquisite version with Italian raw materials.

For the stuffing

600 g lamb mince

30 g of tomato concentrate

300 g of frozen peas

2 white onions

1 carrot

2 celery ribs

2 laurel leaves

Thyme q. b. 10 g

Worcestershire sauce

800 ml of meat broth

Salt up to q. b. Black pepper q. b.

40 g of butter

24 g extra virgin olive oil

For the topping

1 kg of flour potatoes

200 ml of whole milk

80 g of butter

2 yolks

Salt up to q. b.

Black pepper q. b.

Nutmeg q. b.


Chop celery, carrot and onions and cook in a pan with butter and oil. In a pan, brown the minced meat and then add it to the soffritto, together with the bay leaf, thyme and tomato paste. Combine Worcestershire sauce, broth and bring to a boil, simmering for about 45 minutes. Once you have a thick sauce, add the peas, seasoning with salt and pepper. Separately, cook the potatoes in their skins in salted water for about 30 minutes. Once ready, peel the potatoes and mash them, adding the warm milk, butter at room temperature, egg yolks, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the lamb ragout in an ovenproof dish and cover the entire surface with the mash. Bake the flan at 200°C for 30 minutes (advice: turn on the grill on the last 10 minutes of cooking, to brown the potatoes better). Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.


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