Eat your way around England on St. George’s



Eat your way around England on St. George’s

Dragon slaying? That’s so yesterday. Celebrate St. George’s Day on 23 April 2014 by eating your way around England. From Sussex pond pudding and Shropshire fidget pie to Chelsea buns and Stilton, we’ve collected the nation’s favourite dishes – plus lots of tasty local produce – for you to try. Happy St. George’s Day!

North England

Home to crumbly Wensleydale cheeseLancashire hotpot and traditional pease pudding, the North of England is a tempting larder. Try rustling up some Eccles cakes, which first rose to fame in Greater Manchester back in the 1790s, or a fantastic giant Yorkshire pudding, which you can serve an entire roast dinner in!


The Midlands

Known as the ‘king of English cheeses’, Stilton is smooth, bold, complex, and delicious in asparagus and Stilton tarts. The Midlands is also famed for Melton Mowbray pork pies, which are great for packed lunches and picnics, as is the traditional Shropshire fidget pie. And don’t forget Bakewell tart, a slightly different version to the classic dish of Bakewell pudding ….rumoured to have first been made by accident!stilton_800x356

East Anglia

It might be known as the ‘breadbasket of Britain’ but East Anglia offers plenty more. Potted crab is a regional speciality, while Norfolk plough pudding has traditionally been served to mark the start of spring ploughing. For afters, try Cambridge burnt cream, a heavenly combination of sugar, cream and vanilla.

South East

From jellied eels to Eton mess, London and the home counties have something to suit all tastes. The Chelsea bun makes a rich, fruity treat, while watercress soup makes the most of this peppery leaf, most famously grown in Hampshire. Sussex pond pudding and Gypsy tart are great for rounding off dinner.

South West

Cheese and cream rule in the South West corner of England, where Cheddar has been made for over 800 years. You’ll find the home of Double Gloucester  here too, along with Cornish clotted cream which is famed for topping scones. Distinguished by that famous crimped edging, Cornish pasties are the ultimate portable meaty meal.

The great English menu

Whether you’re celebrating St. George’s Day, or just love tucking into traditional English dishes, our menu plans are packed with fond favourites. Try our St. George’s Day meat free menu for vegetarian inspiration, or whet your appetite with our St. George’s day classic menu.


Why not enjoy a traditional English meal on St George’s Day? See below for recipes of delicious traditional England dishes, from some of our nation’s most famous chefs.


Stilton Soup with Parmesan Croutons


  • 4 oz (110 g) Stilton, grated
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large potato, diced small
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) dry cider
  • 1 pint (570 ml) Chicken Giblet Stock
  • 10 fl oz (275 ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon double cream
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the croutons:

  • 4 level dessert spoons freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 8 oz (225 g) stale bread, cut into small cubes
  • 4 tablespoons oil

Start off by melting the butter in a thick-based saucepan, then add the prepared vegetables and some salt, and cook gently with the lid on for 5-10 minutes to draw out the juices. Next stir in the flour to absorb the juices and, when smooth, gradually pour in the cider – still stirring. Now add the chicken stock, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes. After that, add the milk and Stilton and re-heat, stirring, until the cheese has melted and the soup is just below boiling point. Taste season with salt and pepper, then stir in the cream. At this stage you can purée the soup in a food processor or else press it through a sieve; or, if you prefer the texture of the chopped vegetables, keep it as it is. Serve the soup with the Parmesan croutons.

For the croutons, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C), or pre-heat the grill. Place the bread cubes in a bowl, sprinkle in the oil, then stir them around till the bread has soaked up all the oil. Next add the freshly grated Parmesan, and stir again till all the bread cubes are well coated. Spread them out over a baking sheet and either bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, or else place them under the pre-heated grill, turning as necessary. (If you use the grill, watch them like a hawk as they can burn very easily.) The croutons can be made well in advance and stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.
By Delia Smith (

Old English Summer Soup


  • 12 oz (350 g) potatoes, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 or 5 spring onions, finely chopped (including the green parts)
  • 1 small, round lettuce, washed, patted dry and shredded
  • ½ medium cucumber, chopped (no need to peel)
  • 3 oz (75 g) butter
  • 1½ pints (850 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • Snipped fresh chives, to garnish
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

First of all, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter gently, then add the potatoes, spring onions, lettuce and cucumber. Stir everything round in the butter then, keeping the heat very low, put a lid on and let everything sweat for 10 minutes. Now pour in the stock, stir, add some salt and freshly milled black pepper and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low, put the lid on and let it simmer gently for another 20 minutes.

Leave the soup to cool a little, then puree the whole lot in a blender. If you need to do this in two batches, it is helpful to have a bowl to hand to put the first batch in. Finally, check the seasoning, gently re-heat the soup and serve it with the freshly snipped chives stirred in at the last moment or sprinkle a few into each bowl.
By Delia Smith (

Kipper Pate


  • 4 oz (110 g) kipper
  • 1½ oz (40 g) softened butter
  • 2 large or 4 small spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 dessertspoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • Lemon wedge
  • Cayenne pepper

First of all cook the kipper by removing the heads, folding the sides of the fish together and packing it vertically in a tall warmed jug. Then pour in enough boiling water to cover the kipper, put a plate on top of the jug and leave in a warm place for 6 minutes. (If using frozen fillets, cook according to the instructions on the packet.) When the fish is cool remove all the skin and bones, and flake the flesh into a bowl. Now, using a fork, mash vigorously until you have a paste. Then add the butter, bit by bit, continuing to mash until it is all thoroughly incorporated. Next add the chopped spring onion and parsley, the lemon juice and a good grating of nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper (being a bit sparing with the salt) the give the pâté a final mashing till evenly blended. Pack the mixture into a 4 inch (10 cm) ramekin, cover with clingfilm, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 or 3 hours. Serve with a lemon wedge, a dusting of cayenne and some hot buttered toast.
By Delia Smith (

Pork Pies


For the filling:

  • 12 oz (350 g) pork shoulder, including some fat
  • 4 oz (110 g) unsmoked back bacon rashers, derinded
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy essence
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the hot-water crust pastry:

  • 8 oz (225 g) strong plain white flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 fl oz (25 ml) milk
  • 3 oz (75 g) lard

To glaze:

  • 1 large egg yolk

You will also need a non-stick muffin tin, with 6 cups, each one 3 inches (7.5 cm) across the top, and about 1¼ inches (3 cm) deep, lightly buttered, a plain 3¼ inch (8 cm) pastry cutter, and a baking sheet.

Begin the recipe by preparing the meats which need to be coarsely chopped in a processor using the pulse button – you need a chopped rather than a minced effect. Then simply combine all the filling ingredients and give everything a really good seasoning. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). Next, the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a bowl and then put the milk and 1 fl oz (25 ml) of water into a small saucepan and add the lard, cut up into small pieces. Place the pan over a gentle heat and when the fat has completely melted in the liquid, turn up the heat to bring it just up to the boil, then pour it on to the flour and, using a wooden spoon, mix everything together. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead very lightly and briefly. You have to work quickly now, as it’s important that the pies go into the tin while the dough is still warm. Take two-thirds of the dough and cut this up into 6 equal parts. Roll each of these into a ball and put 1 into each of the holes in the tin. Using your thumb, quickly press each ball flat on to the base and then up to the top edge. Press the pastry over the rim of the top edge; it should overlap by at least ¼ inch (5 mm). Now divide the processed pork mixture among the lined muffin cups. Then roll out the remaining pastry and cut out six 3¼ inch (8 cm) rounds for lids; the pastry will be quite thin, so you may need to sprinkle the work surface with a little flour. Next, using a pastry brush, paint a little egg yolk round the edge of each lid and gently press a lid on each pie, egg side down. Then, using a small fork, press the rims of the lids against the tops of the pie cases. Re-roll any pastry trimmings and cut out diamond-shaped leaves to decorate the lids. Then glaze the tops of the pies with the rest of the egg yolk and make a steam hole in each one. Now place the muffin tin on the baking sheet and bake the pies for 30 minutes on the middle shelf, then remove them from the oven. After this time, carefully and, using a small, round-bladed knife and oven gloves (or a thick cloth), remove the hot pies from the tin and place them directly on to the hot baking sheet; this will make the sides and base crispy. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the sides and base of the pies are crispy, then leave them to cool on a wire rack.
By Delia Smith (

Cornish Pasties


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium Spanish onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 350 g minced lamb
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp beef stock
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped
  • 150 g petit pois, cooked
  • Salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

To serve:

  • Roasted peppers
  • Roasted yellow peppers
  • Roasted aubergines
  • Soured cream

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add in the onion and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add in the minced lamb, mixing well, and fry until browned, stirring often. Add in the cumin seeds and the beef stock and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the coriander and the petit pois and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside to cool. Roll out the puff pastry to 5mm thickness. Using an 18cm circular cutter, cut out pastry circles. To make each pasty, place 2 heaped tablespoons of the mince mixture into the middle of a pastry circle and fold over to form a moon shape. Crimp down the edges and brush with beaten egg. Gently score the top of the pasty with the back of a knife. Repeat the process until all the pastry circles have been filled. Place the pastries on greased baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve with roasted red and yellow peppers, roasted aubergine and a dollop of sour cream.
By Paul Hollywood (