This Sunday we will bid the 2012 London Olympics adieu (or more like cheerio), and I don’t know any better way to see them off than to have a viewing party. Invite a few friends over, don some posh duds, watch the closing ceremony, and most importantly, eat some English food. I’ve compiled five of what I consider the best traditional English recipes. They may be English dishes, but all of these have a little twist that Americans will appreciate. Your guests will be asking for more (in a British accent, of course).
Originating in Yorkshire, England (hence the name) around 1700, Yorkshire pudding has become an English staple typically served with roast beef and gravy. It’s a little like a light and fluffy biscuit and is perfect for soaking up meat juices. Check out Under The Blue Gum Tree’s recipe for Sage & Butternut Squash Yorkshire Pudding.
Bubble & Squeak
Bubble and squeak is a dish that revolves around leftovers as it reuses day old vegetables that were cooked with roast by finely chopping and pan frying them. The weird name comes from the sound that the vegetables make in the pan when you press them down with a spatula. It’s a dish that allows you to save a buck, so this would be a great option for those on a budget. Here’s a lovely recipe from theKitchn.
This is another meal that combines what’s left over in the refrigerator. Ploughman’s Lunch is just that: a lunch that would have been packed up and eaten mid-work day. Ingredients vary but most often include cheese, slices of ham, pickles, apple, an egg, bread, lettuce, vegetables, and paté. This recipe from We Are Not Foodies combines the ingredients of Ploughman’s Lunch into mini single-bite “pies” that would be the perfect hors d’oeuvre for an Olympics viewing bash.
Pie & Mash with Parsley Liquor
No need to recall the gory pies from Sweeney Todd. This dish hails from the traditional pie shops that were popular in England during the 19th century, but if done right, it’s exquisite. The parsley liquor may sound a bit strange, but it’s more of an herbaceous gravy than a liquor. Pie and mash is a working class meal, yet there’s no reason that you can’t fancy it up a bit. Tom Ewer of The Gypsy Chef did a brilliant job of this, filling a pie with rabbit and bacon. Here is his recipe.
Bacon Roly Poly
Roly Poly’s are a great way to make something that looks fancy without exerting too much effort. Sometimes they are made with sweet ingredients such as jam, but from what I understand, the English prefer the savory flavor of bacon. It’s yet another hors d’oeuvre option for an Olympics farewell party that is made of pastry, herbs, and cured pork. This recipe from Marcus Wareing at lovefood that has onion, cheese and parsley in it is sure to be a hit.