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Classic British Recipes

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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. What are typical ingredients in British cuisine?
  2. Which ingredients brought from other countries have impacted British cooking?
  3. What are classic British dishes and recipes?


British cuisine comprises the cuisines of the United Kingdom. While England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all have unique regional dishes, there are many commonalities among the cuisines.

British cuisine was also influenced by the expansion of the British Empire and by the ingredients from the Americas and India that were introduced to the United Kingdom as a result.1

Typical Ingredients

Typical ingredients in British cuisine include local produce like apples, Brussels sprouts, elderberries, gooseberries, parsnips, potatoes, leeks, etc. In addition to beef, chicken, and fish, British cuisine also includes some more uncommon poultry like grouse, guinea fowl, and partridge. Finally, Britain produces a huge variety of cheeses, including Caerphilly, Cheshire, Double Gloucester, Lancashire, and Wensleydale, to name a few.

As mentioned, other countries have had a large impact on British cuisine. Potatoes were brought to Europe by Spanish conquistadors returning from South America and are thought to have found their way to the United Kingdom toward the end of the 16th century. Potatoes soon became a staple crop in Ireland, and remain a popular food across the UK.2 Potatoes are enjoyed mashed, roasted, and of course, fried as "chips" (French fries).

Indian spices and rice, on the other hand, have led to British/Indian fusion foods like kedgeree and chicken tikka masala.

Classic British Recipes

Breakfast: While a full English (or Irish or Scottish) breakfast is no longer eaten on a daily basis, it is popular on weekends and particularly with tourists. There are tons of variations, but traditionally a full English breakfast or "fry up" consists of bacon, eggs, sausage, beans, black (blood) pudding, and toast.
Main Dish: Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding (England)
Main Dish: Cornish Pasties
Main Dish: Fish and Chips
Main Dish: Haggis (Scotland)
Main Dish: Irish Stew (Ireland)
Main Dish: Corned Beef and Cabbage (Ireland)
Main Dish: Welsh rarebit (Wales)
Side Dish: Soda Bread (Ireland)
Side Dish: Colcannon (Ireland)
Dessert: Spotted Dick and Custard
Dessert: Crumble
Dessert: Treacle Tart

Recommended Read

Jamie Oliver's Great Britain

This cookbook is Jamie Oliver's first to focus on English cuisine. It contains 130 recipes ranging from traditional British cuisine to British immigrant food.

check it out ยป


  1. International Cuisine
  2. Natural History Museum - Seeds of Trade, Product: Potato


  1. Typical ingredients in British cuisine include local produce ranging from elderberries to potatoes to leeks, as well as beef, poultry, fish, and British cheese.
  2. The potato from South America and later Indian spices and rice have had a sizable impact on British cuisine.
  3. Classic British recipes from England: roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and Cornish pasties; Scotland: Haggis; Wales: Welsh rarebit; Ireland: Irish stew and soda bread
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