Farmersgirl Kitchen

Great British Cooking, an ‘English’ Rarebit and a Giveaway

Uncategorized | April 11, 2015 | By

Carolyn and Chris Calidcott have travelled the world in pursuit of delicious food.  In this book they come home to explore the long-overlooked delights of traditional British Cooking. Tried and tested recipes, some with a twist, combine with a stylish evocation of the nation’s style: pubs, country lanes, sweet peas in a jar and bracing Sunday walks.

A potted history of English cooking:  A very accessible history running through from the Roman settlement of Britain through to the twentieth century.

The Full English: includes recipes for ‘The Fry-Up’, Bubble and Squeak, Marmalade, Tomato Ketchup. Coddled Eggs and Kedgeree.

The Pub Lunch: some tasty recipes for a perfect lunch including Rhubarb and Apple Chutney, Pickled Onions, Raised Pork Pie, Piccalilli, Cornish Pasties, English Rarebit (see below) and Bangers, Mustard Mash and Onion Gravy.

The Sunday Roast:  We all love a roast and this chapter, not only provides you with the recipes for the roasts but also for the accompaniments, so with the Roast Beef there is Yorkshire Pudding and Horseradish Sauce, with Roast Pork, Apple Sauce and Sage and Onion Stuffing, not to mention that very popular crackling (not popular with me,  I might add).  Roast Lamb comes with Apricot Stuffing and Mint Sauce.  Recipes for Roast potatoes, gravy, clapshot and various vegetables complete your meal.  There are even instructions for cooking your Christmas Turkey with the accompaniments of Chestnut Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce.

The Nation’s Favourites: Stroll, or eat your way, down memory lane with Lancashire Hotpot, Shepherd’s Pie, Steak and Kidney Pudding, Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy, Chicken and Mushroom Pie, Beer Battered Cod and Twice-Cooked Chips served with Mushy Peas and Tartare Sauce, and finally a Poached Salmon with Samphire and English Butter Sauce.

The Queen of Puddings: Starting with a recipe for a creamy home made custard which would go very well  with the Jam Roly Poly or a lovely fruit crumble.  A traditional favourite of Bread and Butter Pudding, or a Treacle Tart with a twist – a Gingery Treacle Tart! Rice Pudding, Raspberry and Banana Trifle, Spice Baked Apples, Queen of Puddings and for the grand finale a Christmas Plum Pudding with Brandy Butter.

Who is this book for?
I think this would be a good book to give to a visitor from another country, as it covers a good selection of traditional English (I’ll come on to that in a moment) recipes.  It would also be ideal for someone who is relatively new to cooking and would like to recreate traditional comfort food recipes.

A neat little book packed with recipes and excellent photographs.  As well as the history, each recipe has an introductory paragraph of interesting information.  The recipes are simple and easy to follow.

This book is called ‘Great British Cooking’, however I could not find a single recipe for a traditional Scottish, Welsh or Irish dish. So I feel that the title does not represent the content.  Even the Welsh Rarebit has become English Rarebit, although it was extremely good!

English Rarebit
Serve 4

1 tbsp plain flour
1 generous teaspoon English mustard powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
6 tbsp strong beer, dry cider or milk
1 heaped tablespoon butter
250g/9oz strong Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper to taste
4 thick slices of good bread
A small glass of red wine

1. Combine the flour, mustard and cayenne in a bowl and gradually pour in the beer, stirring untl smooth.
2. Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat, Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the beer/flour mixture.
3. Add the cheese and gently warm, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the cheese has completely melted and a thick sauce forms.  Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and season to taste.
4. Toast the bread, sprinkle with a little red wine (I didn’t do this and it was fine without) and spread with the cheese mixture, taking care to cover the crusts.  Grill until brown and molten. Serve immediately.

The rarebit was really delicious and I would definitely make it again.

Great British Cooking
By Carolyn Caldicott
Photography by Chris Caldicott
Published by Frances Lincoln
RRP £12.99

I have one copy of Great British Cooking by Carolyn Caldicott to Giveaway, just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Leave a Reply

    Lynsey Buchanan
    April 12, 2015

    You can't beat a sunday roast

  2. Leave a Reply

    Jane Willis
    April 12, 2015

    Tough choice! Steamed steak pudding, Lancashire hotpot, cottage pie – lovely comfort foods. But there's one thing that stands out from all other cuisines – BREAD SAUCE.

  3. Leave a Reply

    April 12, 2015

    Scott Walliss – Steak and ale pie with lots of veg.

  4. Leave a Reply

    April 12, 2015

    Looks like an interesting book, but it's a shame if there are only English recipes in it.
    I could eat that rarebit right now, it looks delicious! My favourite "British' recipe would have to be shepherd's pie, but I now realise the French have something very similar. Which just goes to show that either there are no truly original recipes, or that anything good will have an international version.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Elizabeth Hinds
    April 12, 2015

    You can't beat a good roast dinner! X

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kristy Brown
    April 12, 2015

    So much choice but I think I would have to go with Fish and Chips or Yorkshire pud!

  7. Leave a Reply

    April 12, 2015

    The Cornish Pasty. Easy to eat and tasty at the same time

  8. Leave a Reply

    April 12, 2015

    I think it would be Eton Mess for me (I know, not much "cooking" unless you make your own meringue!).

  9. Leave a Reply

    April 12, 2015

    Genuinely …. Rarebit – closely followed by a Roast Beef dinner with Yorkshire pudding.

  10. Leave a Reply

    April 13, 2015

    My favourite British recipe is Cottage Pie. Donna Loxton

  11. Leave a Reply

    Chloe King
    April 13, 2015

    I too am wondering what makes this rarebit more English than Welsh, but either way, you can't beat a good one. Is there an English cullen skink in there too?

    • Leave a Reply

      April 15, 2015

      ha ha! No, Chloe there isn't. I can only think that the rarebit uses English Cheddar, it does seem a strange title though.

  12. Leave a Reply

    April 13, 2015

    I am not sure I have a favourite, I am currently investigating lots of regional recipes. I know yorkshire puddings is my sons.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Nayna Kanabar
    April 13, 2015

    I would have expected some old fashioned British recipes in it, does it have many vegetarian recipes in it???

    • Leave a Reply

      April 13, 2015

      not much in the way of veggie dishes Nanya. Cauliflower Cheese and English Rarebit and bubble and squeak, but not much in the way of main course dishes.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline Meldrum
    April 15, 2015

    Oh I am craving this Janice. I have bashed my grill too often when putting pans and trays in the oven, so it's not working and no roasted cheese or rarebit for me. So sad 🙁

    • Leave a Reply

      April 15, 2015

      It really is a good recipe, tastes a bit like what my Mum used to make. Oh no, that a tragedy! my grill is in the top oven so doesn't come in for any ill treatment. I know I would be lost without my grill.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Clare Bluett
    April 16, 2015

    Since seeing the rarebit recipe I can't think of anything else! Love a good fry up or roast too but that rarebit has stolen my taste buds!

  16. Leave a Reply

    Choclette Blogger
    April 16, 2015

    That's right you tell em Janice. Us smaller countries are still part of Britain – at least I think we are 😉 Love rarebit or just simple cheese on toast.

  17. Leave a Reply

    Rachael Pilkington
    April 22, 2015

    I love a good steak and ale pie!

  18. Leave a Reply

    April 26, 2015

    I'm not sure it's a classic English dish but I love cheese and potato pie.

  19. Leave a Reply

    May 1, 2015

    Nothing beats a traditional Sunday Roast with all the trimmings

  20. Leave a Reply

    faye huntington
    May 3, 2015

    mmmmmm yorkshire puddings and gravy!!!

  21. Leave a Reply

    May 5, 2015

    Love cottage pie with lashings of gravy and green beans, finished with a dollop of tomato sauce on top.

  22. Leave a Reply

    Lisa J
    May 5, 2015

    Love your site. Everything looks so good I'm getting hungry thank you so much xx

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