• 15 May 2020

Britain is known for many things – the royal family, Stonehenge, Big Ben, Queen and The Beatles to name just a few! It’s also a country known for its traditional dishes that come served with a side of intriguing history.

We’ve rounded up some of the top British dishes for you to try at home to create a feast that’s fit for the Queen of England herself. One of the best ways to enjoy British food? With a pint of lager – cheers!

Grab a pint and say cheers to delicious homemade British food!

Fish and Chips

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

The delicious duo of fried fish and chips is one of the national dishes of England and is usually bought from the local “chippy”. Here, we show you how to make this tasty dish in a few simple steps:

Crispy, battered fish served with golden chips are one of Great Britain’s favourite meals.
  • 4 200g fish fillets (thick, meaty white fish – cod, pollock or haddock). If previously frozen make sure it’s fully defrosted and pat dry with paper towel
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to season
  • 1 litre vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 7 tablespoons milk
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons of fizzy lager (light beer works best); sparkling water can be used instead
  • 8 medium-sized potatoes peeled
  • Brown vinegar for serving
  1. Turn the oven on to 150°C
  2. Mix one cup of the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow dish and cover fish fillets with the mixture shaking off any excess flour
  3. To make the batter mix one cup of flour, baking powder, milk, water and olive oil. Don’t add the beer/sparkling water yet
  4. Cut chips into 2cm thick fingers, rinse and pat dry (for crispy chips the potatoes should be as dry as possible)
  5. Add beer or sparkling water to the batter and gently mix until it’s incorporated
  6. Heat up the vegetable oil until it reaches 180°C in a pot that is big enough for the oil to cover ⅓ of the pot.
    TIP: to test if the oil is hot enough drop a small piece of potato in and if it floats to the top the oil is ready
  7. Gently fry the chips in batches – so as not to overcrowd them – for about 8 minutes. Transfer chips using a slotted spoon to a paper-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven (we’ll fry the chips again at the end to make them nice and crispy)
  8. Dip the fish fillets in the batter and make sure they are well coated. Let the excess batter drip off and gently place in the oil and cook for about 7 – 8 minutes (if the batter starts going brown too quickly turn the heat down slightly) and drain on a paper towel
  9. Once all the fillets are cooked take the chips out of the oven and again in batches gently place them in the oil and cook for a further 3 – 4 minutes until they’re crispy. Drain on a paper towel
  10. Serve fish and chips with lemon wedges, brown vinegar or any of your favourite condiments!
Fry your fish fillets to give them a delicious, crispy coating.

Bangers and Mash

Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

This popular British staple has an interesting story about how it got its name. During WWI when food was being rationed, meat shortages resulted in sausages being made with a number of fillers, including water, which would cause them to pop and hiss while being cooked, hence the name “bangers”. These days the juicy sausages are served with flavorful mash and onion gravy. Try out the recipe below!

This hearty dish became a British food staple during WWI and has remained widely-enjoyed ever since.

For the mash

  • 6 medium-sized potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to season

For the bangers and gravy

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 good quality sausages (breakfast sausages will work as well)
  • 2 onions sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups of beef broth/stock
  • 1 teaspoon good quality mustard
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to season
  1. Peel and cut potatoes into quarters, place in a pan cover with cold water and add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil
  2. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes until tender (use a fork or knife to check)
  3. While the potatoes cook, start cooking the sausages. Add the tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan over a medium to high heat
  4. When the pan is hot add the sausages and cook for 15 minutes, turning often
  5. While the sausages are cooking, peel and chop the onions
  6. Once the sausages are done, move them to a plate and cover with foil
  7. Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter to the same pan used for the sausages
  8. Add the sliced onion and cook for about 8 minutes until tender
  9. Reduce the heat to low and add flour and cook for about 1 minute or until well combined and golden brown
  10. Add ¼ cup of the broth and use a whisk mix until a thick paste forms. Gradually add in another ¼ cup of broth. Once all mixed add the remaining broth and mix well
  11. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 3 minutes until it’s thick and glossy
  12. Add mustard and heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Return the sausages to the pan and gently heat the sausages
  13. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave in a colander for a few minutes to steam dry
  14. Mash potatoes using a hand masher and add milk, butter and season with salt and pepper if necessary
  15. Serve the sausages and gravy over the mash with peas

Steak and Kidney Pie

Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

This hearty and delicious savoury pie is also one of Britain’s national dishes and has been around for centuries. It’s a great comforting meal to have on a cold day. With this recipe, we focus on the filling and take the easy route by using premade all-butter puff pastry.

One of the earliest printed recipes for steak and kidney pie dates back to the 1800s!
  • 500g boneless beef shin, cut in bite-sized blocks
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced (can be substituted with onion)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups beef stock
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • sprig of thyme
  • 300g ready to cook lamb or pork kidneys
  • all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg, whisked
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and brown the beef until caramelised as this provides the beefy flavour to the dish
  2. Remove the beef, turn the heat down and add the shallots to the pan. Fry until soft and add the meat and resting juices back
  3. Add the flour and stir through cooking for a minute
  4. Add beef stock, thyme and pepper and stir for a minute or two until the liquid becomes thicker and smooth
  5. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the meat is tender
  6. In a small pan fry the liver in some vegetable oil until they’ve got some colour and then add to the beef mixture and mix until all combined
  7. Pour the mixture into a pie and cover with the pastry making sure the edges are sealed by pinching the pastry
  8. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg and make a slit at the top of the pastry with a knife for the steam to escape
  9. Bake in a hot 200°C oven until pastry is cooked through and golden in colour – about 30-40 minutes
  10. Serve hot with your choice of vegetables

Sunday Roast

Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate

A classic English dish that has brought families together for generations. Sundays are usually the day when families spend time with each other and nothing beats enjoying a classic Sunday Roast together! Usually, these dishes take hours to prepare but we’ve got an easy one-pan version for you so you can enjoy this tasty meal with all the trimmings but less hassle.

Beef, vegetables and Yorkshire puddings make up a traditional Sunday Roast – one of Britain’s most popular dishes!

For the roast

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 packet green beans
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chicken spice

For the Yorkshire pudding

  • 200ml all-purpose flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. Chop carrots in thick slices. Chop potatoes and one of the onions into quarters
  3. Arrange vegetables, potatoes, and onion on a large baking sheet or oven dish, drizzle with vegetable oil and add salt and pepper to season
  4. Chop the other onion into quarters and peel the garlic cloves. Stuff the chicken with the onion and cloves. Drizzle some oil over the chicken and sprinkle chicken spice covering the whole chicken
  5. Place the chicken on top of the vegetable in the baking sheet
  6. Place sprigs of thyme on top of chicken and vegetables
  7. Cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through
  8. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Yorkshire pudding batter by adding the milk, eggs, flour and salt and pepper to a mixing bowl and using a whisk mix until it’s all combined and there are no lumps
  9. Add a few drops of oil to each hole of a 12 hole muffin pan (there should be a thin layer covering the bottom)
  10. Once the chicken is ready, remove the vegetables, potatoes and chicken and place on a serving dish and cover with tin foil. Reserve the cooking juices to make gravy later
  11. Place muffin trays in the oven for about 5 minutes to heat up the oil
  12. This next part needs to be done pretty quickly. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and quickly pour batter into each hole till about halfway then place the muffin tray back into the oven and cook for 20-25minutes (the Yorkshire pudding should be well risen and golden brown)
  13. While the Yorkshire puddings are in the oven prepare the gravy. In a small saucepan on medium heat add the cooking juices and 1 ½ cups of chicken stock
  14. Once simmering remove a quarter of a cup of the liquid and in a bowl add 2 tablespoons of flour and liquid and mix until you have a paste with no lumps
  15. Add the paste to the liquid in the saucepan and mix until it’s all combined starts to thicken. Once thick turn off the heat
  16. Serve and enjoy!

Spotted Dog Pudding

Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate

The British are known for their love of steamed puddings and this classic tea time dessert has been a staple for many years. The name Spotted Dick or Spotted Dog comes from way back in the day when puddings were referred to as puddog or puddick and of course the spotted part is because of the currents dotted around the pudding. This is a light fluffy dessert and should definitely be served with custard along with a cup of tea.

This traditional sponge pudding should definitely be served with a side of custard to make it even tastier!
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, extra butter softened for pudding bowl and baking paper
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Custard to serve
  1. In a mixing bowl add flour, baking powder and salt and mix together
  2. Using your fingers mix in the butter until all the butter is incorporated
  3. First, stir in sugar, lemon zest and currents then add lemon juice, eggs and milk and mix until well combined
  4. Using butter, grease a pudding basin or ovenproof bowl and pour the mixture in
  5. Cut a circle out of baking paper that’s the same size as the top of the pudding bowl and butter one side and place the baking paper butter side down over the pudding bowl
  6. Taking a large piece of foil and cover the pudding bowl so that it’s well covered
  7. In a large pot (it needs to be bigger than the pudding bowl and the pudding bowl should touch when the lid is on the pot) place a clean folded tea towel at the bottom to keep the pudding bowl from sliding around. Place the pudding bowl on top of the tea towel and fill the large pot ¾ of the way with hot water
  8. Cover and bring to a steady boil turning down the heat to medium after 20 minutes. Cook for 2 hours topping up the water as needed.
  9. Once done carefully remove the pudding bowl and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate
  10. Serve hot with warm custard

We hope you enjoyed all of these delicious traditional British dishes. Why not put your cooking skills to the test and try them at home with your family? Or better yet, try it first hand and on a trip through Great Britain! The United Kingdom is full of historic sights, bustling towns, charming towns and delicious food – it’s sure to be a uniquely British experience!

Questions & Comments

  1. Pat Cousineau says:

    Love these recipes, except for the kidneys.

  2. Adrian James says:

    I don’t know if you have called the pudding Spotted Dog to be politically correct, because the pudding is called Spotted Dick.

    • Heather Cameron says:

      Hi Adrian, thank you for your message! In the post, we do share that the pudding is known as spotted dick as well as spotted dog – the names are both derived from being known as “puddog or puddick” many, many years ago. Thanks again for commenting and we hope you have a lovely festive season!

  3. Spotted dog? Well that’s a first but other British created desserts like apple pie or apple crumble are more popular.

    • Heather Cameron says:

      Spotted dog/Spotted dick is definitely an interesting one to bake at home and we also love a good apple pie or apple crumble. Thank you for the message Steve!

Join the Expat Explore family!

We’ll deliver top travel tips, insider info and travel inspiration right to your inbox.

By submitting this form you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Secured by thawte

256 bit SSL encrypted security

Mastercard Visa