This cookbook has a copyright of 2012. I bought this cookbook from Amazon. I have never cooked from this before.
I was getting discouraged looking for a good British cookbook to use during the Olympics. I had bought several that seemed way more complicated than I was willing to put effort into. And the recipes all seemed...well, not exactly what the normal British person would eat on a daily basis, more what you would find in restaurants that might cost a weeks paycheck. So when I came across this cookbook that said it was more about British food you might find in a pub or someones home, I gladly bought it.
The book starts out with a very (very) brief intro about discovering British Food...basically sayings it's much more than the bland food they are known for. Chapters are divided into: A Full Breakfast (the Brits really know how to do a big breakfast); Sandwiches, Salads, and Small Plates (where you'll find things like Scotch Eggs); The Soup Pot; The Main Course; The Curry Shop (one thing that has always stuck in my mind is how much the British like Indian food); On the Side; Savory Pies and Baked Goods (from Shepard's Pie to Yorkshire Pudding); The Sweet Side; and The Ploughman's Cupboard (with a few recipes for things like Clotted Cream and Pickled Onions).There is a small glossary of British food terms (a "Butty" is a sandwich on a roll) and a Measurement Equivalent page with liquid, weight, and oven temp conversions.
Interspersed throughout the chapters are wonderful pages giving you more information about an ingredient, a type of meal or the history of a place a recipe came from. I loved reading about the authors first eating of a Deep Fried Mars Bar (who knew that started in the UK?) or the fact that "tea" in the UK can mean the drink or an entire meal. The recipes seem pretty straightforward, easy to read and understand. Measurements are in U.S, ingredients listed are the American versions or a substitute is given (recipe asking for beef suet, lard or shortening). Most of the ingredients are easily obtainable here in the states though things like cow blood (for the Black Pudding) or lamb kidneys may be hard to find.
There aren't enough photographs for my liking. Though most of the dishes do have an accompanying photograph, there were some dishes, because I'm not necessarily family with the cuisine, I would have liked to have had a finished version to look at. Nice to know once I've made a recipe what the finished item should look like.
The author is an American. I had no problem with that though some might find it odd. Personally I think that's why the recipes seem so easy to put together. Now whether these recipes are authentic or not, I have no idea as I have no reference, but they at least look tasty. I have a feeling the author gave the recipes an American bent or changed them in some way as to not make them truly British but at least I found I wanted to cook a majority of the recipes included in the book. Maybe I'll get to England at some point and be able to try these dishes first hand.
On my list to try:
Pickled Eggs; Salmangundi; Deviled Crab; Mulligatawny Soup; Beef Wellington; Beef Collops with Pickled Walnuts (a collop is just a small piece of meat-Swiss Steak was listed here); Classic Roast Beef with Gravy; Lancashire Hotpot; Fish and Chips; Ffest Y Cybydd (something with pork chops, onions, and potatoes); Faggots (which looks something like meatballs); Chicken Korma; Lamb Dopiaza (seems to be something of a lamb and onion curry); Chicken Tikka Masala; Shrimp Biryani; Clapshot (turnips and potatoes); Pan Haggerty (think Potatoes Anna); Bubble and Squeak (cabbage, potatoes, and corned beef); Pease Porridge (I can never say Pease Porridge without saying "in the pot nine, days old"); Mushy Peas; Welsh Rarebit; Bacon Roly-Poly (think rolled up like a jellyroll); Cottage Pie; Fidget Pie (it's made with bacon and apples); Traditional Cornish Steak Pasty; Yorkshire Pudding; Toad-In-The-Hole (Yorkshire Pudding and Sausages); Cumberland Pudding (which is more like a steamed cake); Banoffee Pie (banana and toffee); Fat Rascals (cookie); Spicy Gingersnaps; Hot Cross Buns; Mincemeat Cake (there is no meat in modern mincemeat by the way); Plum Pudding (a steamed cake that has no plums, think more like a lighter fruitcake); Poor Knights of Windsor (french toast); Spotted Dick (another of those steamed cake like things); Treacle Tart (there isn't an ingredient called Treacle by the way); Clotted Cream; Lemon Curd; and Pickled Onions.
There were a lot more recipes in this book that I found I wanted to cook than I would have thought! I probably won't make the Spotted Dick this time around, since we already had the canned version but I'm game to try pretty much any of the dishes listed. Except for the Black Pudding (which is indeed made with congealed blood) and the Lamb's Tongue with Raisin Sauce (I don't like raisins LOL).