Top British Comfort Food Classics

Tuesday 24 May 2022

British Comfort Food Classics

Get your bibs on because you are about to commence drooling as I take you on a culinary trip of some of the most delicious British Foods and dishes. These ten British favorite dishes with recipes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and all are easily replicated in the comfort of your own home! 

There is a bit of something here for everyone. 

British cuisine has a well deserved reputation for being heartwarming, filling and very satisfying, and these recipes I am sharing with you today are the best of the best! Get ready to tuck into some of the best and most delicious British foods on offer today!
 Perfect Roast Prime Rib

Number one
has to be THE ROAST DINNER WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS!  This will consist of a perfectly cooked roast, be it BeefChicken, Pork, or Lamb.  Also included will be perfect Roasted Potatoes, and tall and fluffy, crisp Yorkshire Puddings, or batter puddings as they are also called. 

There will also be gravy and an assortment of cooked vegetables on the side and any number of condiments such as Horseradish Sauce, hot English Mustard or Apple Sauce.  Popular vegetables are cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, swede (rutabaga) and peas! 

Fish and Chips

Number Two would have to be FISH AND CHIPS.  This delicious dish has been a popular meal with the British since the 19th century.  Known as a street food, even small Hamlets can boast of having their own fish and chips shop and it would not be a trip to the seaside without enjoying  a feast of fish and chips, wrapped in white paper as you sit on a bench watching the waves and beating off the sea gulls. (They love fish and chips as well.) 

The fish, which usually Cod, Haddock or Plaice is dipped in a delicious batter and deep fried. Chips are almost always hand cut and twice fried.  You will always be asked if you want salt and vinegar on them and they will lavish them with salt and malt vinegar if the answer is yes.   This is the ultimate finger food!  When enjoyed in a sit down restaurant you will often have them served with some mushy peas and or coleslaw. 

Egg and Chips

Number three - EGG & CHIPS -  Simple supper fare for the working class man, and boy does it taste good. Some crisp hot chips picked up at the local chippy, served with fried eggs and bread and butter. It doesn't really get much better than this.  

Simple, yes, but proof positive that sometimes simple can be very, very good.  You can use oven chips if you wish, but once in a while it doesn't hurt to have a real chip. (In the UK French fries are called Chips.)

Shepherd's Pie

Number FourCLASSIC SHEPHERD'S PIE - The UK is famous for all of their pies, steak and kidney, chicken and mushroom, pork pies, etc. but one of the absolute most comforting of pies is this classic.   And its not really even a pie!

This is the perfect family meal and is very easy to make with a rich ground lamb and gravy filling topped with vegetables and a layer of fluffy mashed potatoes. You can top the potatoes with grated cheese if you wish.  It is cousin to the also very popular COTTAGE PIE which is made with ground beef.

Both are equally popular and incredibly satisfying. You can also use leftover cooked beef or lamb in the fillings, which is how they were originally planned to be used, as a vehicle for the leftovers from Sunday dinner.

Bubble and Squeak

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK  is another bonus meal created from the leftovers of Sunday lunch!  Traditionally it is a hash made with leftover gravy, potatoes, cabbage, and onions, as well as brussels sprouts during sprout season, but really . . .

You can use whatever combination of cooked vegetables you have to hand . . . carrots, peas, parsnips, beans, swede . . . it doesn't really matter . . .


The name comes from the way it bubbles and squeaks in the pan as it is cooking.


Number five -LANCASHIRE HOT POT.  This hearty dish hails from the North West of England and is synonymous with an era that pre-dates the Industrial revolution. Here you have layers of a hearty lamb stew and vegetables (usually carrot and onions) topped with a "thatch" of sliced potatoes.  

This is usually cooked in a heavy pottery dish, very slowly over low heat. It is plain and simple hearty fare, which is delicious. You will often see it eaten with pickled red cabbage or beetroot.  There are also very similar stews that are regional such Scouse (Liverpool) and Irish Stew from Ireland.

Bangers and Mash

Number six - BANGERS AND MASH - This is so popular that even songs have been written about it. Banger is a term lovingly used to describe sausages and is a term which began during World War ll.  This was attributed to the sound that sausages might make when cooked under high heat, a pop and a sizzle. 

You will find this tasty dish on offer at most pubs and restaurants in the country.  What you get here is a delicious snappy skinned thick pork sausage grilled to perfection and served with a fluffy pile of mashed potatoes and plenty of onion gravy! 

Toad in the Hole

Number Seven - TOAD IN THE HOLE -  This tasty dish combines grilled sausages and Yorkshire pudding batter.  The sausages are partially cooked in a dish and once the fat has been released a pudding batter is poured around them and they are baked until the batter is all puffed and golden brown and the sausages are cooked through,

This is a favorite of one and all and delicious served with Bisto gravy and fluffy mash.  The origin of the name 'Toad-in-the-Hole' is quite vague. Most suggestions are that the dish's resemblance to a toad sticking its little head out of a hole provide the dish with its somewhat unusual name. 

Chicken Tikka Masala


Number eight - CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA - The British love their curries and Chicken Tikka Masala is a real favorite. Chicken tikka masala is a dish of pan roasted chunks of chicken in a spicy sauce. The sauce is usually creamy, spiced and orange-coloured, from the tomatoes that are in the dish. 

It was almost certainly invented in Britain and is among the country's most popular dishes, leading a government minister, Robin Cook, to claim in 2001 that it was a British national dish.

When I went to Culinary school in the UK Chicken Tikka Masala was one of the first dishes we were taught to make.  

Apple Crumble

Number 9 - APPLE CRUMBLE - So popular you could almost call it the National dessert. Usually served warm with cold cream for pouring  over top, or warm custard sauce.  

When it comes to an apple dessert you can't get much better than an apple crumble. I like the ones with the Oats in the crumble most of all.  You can find my recipe for the custard here.  This custard is also awfully good served with stewed rhubarb, another British favorite!

Scones and Cream

Number ten - THE CREAM TEA You will find "Cream Teas" on offer throughout the UK, but they are truly a speciality of the SouthWest . . . Devon and Cornwall areas. I have seen Welsh Cream Teas as well as Cream Teas being offered in many other areas of the UK. In general nowadays, they are offered in Tearooms EVERYWHERE across the UK wherever someone wants to give an impression of British influence.

Not to be confused with high tea which is more like a meal, Cream teas are meant as a light lunch or snack and usually consist of CLASSIC SCONES, served with jam and clotted cream (a true British delicacy) and hot pots of tea.

This is by no means a complete list, but only the tip of a very delicious iceberg. I came to love many different dishes when I lived in the UK. Every region has their own specialty and all of them are endearingly delicious.  These are just a few of the things which wangled their way into my foodie heart!!

There is Sticky Toffee Pudding and Banoffee Pie for instance, but I had to draw the line somewhere. If you ever are lucky enough to travel in the UK these are some of the more traditional culinary delights which await you!   Bon Appetit!


  1. This is timely, Marie. I'm planning on having a small Jubilee tea (just two of us!) in early June. I may be trying my first Battenberg cake from your cookbook but other tea recipes will be essential!

  2. We will soon be getting lamb for our freezer and I will be sure to come here for some recipes. :) I already make cottage pie, so I will now be able to make the "real" shepherd's pie. I enjoyed reading about the other British recipes.

    1. Oh how wonderful Elaine! I have a rack of lamb in my freezer that I need to take out and cook one of these days! I so love lamb! xo

  3. Ah, Marie my top 4 meals to make and buy are on your list. I do get cross when people diss our UK foods, I love nothing more than good comfort food. I would add 2 to your list, the first is a big bowl of homemade mince stew and the second
    is liver, bacon and onions with mashed potatoes. I really enjoy reading your blog and especially of your time spen here in the UK. Best wishes, Jayne.

    1. It makes me cross also Jayne. Because it is so undeserved! I loved the food in the UK and I loved living in the UK. I really miss it. xoxo


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