The days are getting shorter and there’s that chill in the air. Winter is upon us, and with it comes the time of the year when hearty meals are in order. Meals that not only warm the body but also the soul, and when we’re talking about heartwarming food, the good old British classics immediately come to mind. For generations these favourites have provided the perfect reason for families to get together and enjoy the winter together. With the lockdown back in effect, it’s all the more reason for you to get your chef’s hat on and create these nostalgic recipes for a wonderful winter meal, so let’s get cooking.
A traditional Sunday roast is incomplete without the ubiquitous Yorkshire pudding. Loved by Brits of all ages, Yorkies are easy to make and are big on taste. All you need is some flour, eggs, milk, and oil and your very own Yorkshire Puddings will be ready in no time. Tradition is to use roast drippings (beef or pork), but oil is a suitable substitution. You don’t always need the fanfare of a Sunday roast to enjoy a couple of Yorkshire Puddings; they pair up equally well with mashed peas, mustard, or even clotted cream. All you’re left to do is layout the table covers and enjoy the Yorkies with a hot cup of tea.
Nothing beats a well made Shepherd’s Pie when it comes to winter comfort food. When the warm aromas of spices waft through your kitchen, the whole family will be drawn automatically towards this scrumptiously satisfying meal and dinner table chatter will resume only after generous portions have been devoured. To get started, saute ground lamb (you can substitute ground beef, but then it’s a cottage pie) with onion, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste. Add peas and chopped carrots and finish off the Pie with a generous layer of mashed potatoes. Bake until the crust is light brown and the gravy starts to ooze out of the sides. Enjoy a late afternoon brunch with the family with a Shepherd’s pie and make it even better by taking off those outdoor furniture covers and enjoy the winter sun with your loved ones.
Opinions may differ on the British colonial past, but when things get as tasty as the Kedgeree everyone seems to agree. A reminder of how the British adapted to foreign tastes and made them their own, Kedgeree is loved by all, especially for its heartwarming qualities that are perfectly suited for winters. A rather simple dish to master, Kedgeree is as versatile as your imagination. The basics like rice, lentils, and spices remain the same and you can add the final flourish by incorporating shredded chicken, lamb, or even salmon. Top it off with a soft boiled egg and you will have a perfect Sunday brunch dish for the whole family.
There’s something about a well made Rice Pudding that can transport you back to your childhood. The mushy milk-soaked rice, sweetened just enough so that you can enjoy the nutty flavour and the creamy milk at once, and that hint of cinnamon rounds off the entire experience like a warm blanket on a chilly November evening. Add fresh strawberries for a delicious added twist. Generations of Brits have grown up on Rice Pudding as that perfect comfort food that was easy for the mums to make and enjoyed by everyone in the family. So these holidays get big on nostalgia and get cracking on that pud.
Toad In A Hole
Well and truly a British classic that deserves a spot in the grub hall of fame. Toad in a hole started as a means for families to efficiently use their meat supplies in the 18th century and has now found a place amongst the posh set from London’s West End to the royal families. Use your leftover Yorkshire pudding batter to whip up your very own sausage toad along with onion gravy and surprise the family with some good old British deliciousness.
The global pandemic has forced us to adjust in novel ways. Since spending more time at home is the new normal, why not turn it into a scrumptious experience. So get busy in the kitchen this winter and create these British classics to warm up your body and soul.