In Britain's Kitchens. A look at Modern British cuisine.

Great Britain is not necessarily the first place one might think of as far as ecclectic cuisine. However, with the cultural influences of international settlers into Britain, the recipes and tastes have changed and improved. Also, with celebrity chef's...

Great Britain is not necessarily the first place one might think of as far as ecclectic cuisine. However, with the cultural influences of international settlers into Britain, the recipes and tastes have changed and improved. Also, with celebrity chef's like Gordon Ramsey, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver the rest of the world has been introduced to modern British cooking; drawing heavily on influences from the Mediterranean, India, and South East Asia.

British cuisine has been described as "unfussy dishes made with quality local ingredients, matched with simple sauces to accentuate flavour rather than disguise it." Anglo -Indian dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala is an example of this. Being one of the most popular dishes in British restaurants , Tikka Masala is an uncomplicated yet tasty dish of roasted chicken chunks in a spicy sauce (creamy, spiced and orange colored).)

There are several culinary dishes that are considered to be British in origin and are popular internationally with variations offered in countries all over the world: Full English Breakfast, Fish and Chips, Sunday roast dinner, Steak & Kidney Pie, Shepherd's Pie, Bangers and Mash, Yorkshire Pudding. 

Full English Breakfast can include a variety of ingredients however the most common are eggs, bacon and sausages with side dishes, such as fried mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, black pudding and half a tomato. Served with tea, coffee or juice; a lot of pubs in the UK will offer an "All Day Full Breakfast" on their menu.

Fish and Chips began primarily as a take-away item from street vendor carts known as "chippers". These carts do still exist, however now Fish and Chips are available in pubs and restaurants all over Britain and the world. Battered fish, usually cod or haddock and deep fried chips with salt and vinegar sprinkled over the top. Sometimes a side dish like mushy peas, or coleslaw accompanies it.

Sunday Roast or Cooked Dinner is a large hearty meal of roast beef, chicken, pork or lamb with mashed or roasted potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire Pudding, as well as stuffing and gravy. A variety of condiments and garnishes are served depending on the main meat dish; these can include English mustard, apple sauce, mint sauce or jelly, or cranberry sauce.

Steak & Kidney Pie and Shepherd's Pie are not dessert pies! Though Steak & Kidney pie is baked in a pastry crust its ingredients are beef, kidney, onions and gravy and is served as a main hearty dish as is Shepherd's Pie. Shepherd's Pie initially was prepared with mutton ( thus the name- being that it was a sheep herder's staple meal) but now more often uses beef, as well as mashed potatoes and corn or other vegetables layered in a pie or casserole dish.

Bangers and Mash can be found on pub menus all over the United Kingdom. Affectionately known as "pub grub" , it is a basic yet tasty dish of pork or beef sausages and mashed potatoes, sometimes served with gravy, baked beans, fried onions and/or peas.

Yorkshire Pudding is made from a batter similar to pancakes (milk, flour and eggs). The batter is poured into pre-heated ramekins, muffin tins or Popover pans. Consistency and timing are extremely important to ensure perfect results. Most frequently, Yorkshire Pudding, particularly in the miniature variety, are served with a Sunday Roast dinner.

Great Britain of course is not just England, but also includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The above dishes have their own variations in these areas ,however, each country also has its own distinct and signature dishes. Scotland, for example is best known for high quality beef, lamb, potatoes oats and seafoods, and of course Haggis with Neeps & Tatties  is infamous. Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheeps organs minced with onions, oatmeal, suet and spices and mixed with a meat stock. Traditionally, the ingredients are encased in the animal's stomach and left to simmer for 3 hours, then served with mashed turnips and potatos , aka: neeps and tatties - haggis is considered the national dish of Scotland.

Welsh cooking is influenced by other British cuisine incorporating beef and dairy products. Wales is best known however for its sheep. Roast lamb is a traditional feature of Welsh cooking.

The cuisine of Northern Ireland is largely similar to the rest of Ireland and Britain with their own versions of bangers and mash, fish and chips and a full breakfast that the Northern Irish have dubbed Ulster Fry. 

Afternoon tea with scones has been a long standing British tradition. English Breakfast Tea is a traditional black tea blend  from South East Asia and Africa . A full bodied, robust blend that is meant to go well with milk and sugar; created to be served with breakfast but can be enjoyed anytime!

Try your hand at British cuisine with a little help from www.cilantrocooks.com. We have all the tools you need to ensure delicious results. From the Lodge Double Play Reversible Grill/Griddle  to prepare the Full English BreakfastNordicware Cast Aluminum Popover Pan for Yorkshire Pudding to Wildly Delicious Butter Chicken Sauce  for your Chicken Tikka Masala, and so much more!

God Save the Queen!