Last night I hosted a Brit Night at my house. I had about 20 people, including kids and we watched the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. I grew up in England and although I now live in the United States, I am very proud to see the Olympic Games being held in a city I absolutely love- London. To celebrate, I cooked a couple traditional English dishes and stocked up on English beer.
If I was in England, I’d probably invite over my friends, get a ton of fish and chips from the local chippie along with mushy peas and curry sauce. It’d be a lot less work and probably just as much fun.
I wanted to share with you my party plan- and a couple recipes.
Here’s a rundown of the menu:
- Salt and Vinegar crisps (potato chips)
- Bangers and Mash (mashed potato with sausages in an onion gravy)
- Shepherd’s pie
- Chocolate plum cake with creme anglaise
- Apple crumble with custard
- Selection of English chocolates (Lion, Maltesers, Smarties, Aero, Yorkie, Flake, etc)
Drink wise, we decided to go with all English beers. Of course, being in the the Florida panhandle makes it difficult to find imported goods but I was quite impressed with our finds:
- Samuel Smith
- Newcastle Brown Ale
- Newcastle Werewolf Ale
- Strongbow Hard Cider
I live in Pensacola and I was able to stock up after visiting Four Winds Fine Foods (the only place around here to get British style bangers/beef sausages, even though they are made in the US), World Market (good beer and chocolate selection) and my local Publix grocery store.
I have the labels I used available for FREE on Scribd.com and you can choose from blank labels or ones with text (using my menu above).
You can choose from blank labels or ones with text (using my menu above).
Here’s a couple recipes to get you started, too.
2 lbs mashed potato
1 lb ground lamb or beef
4 carrot, peeled and cut into half moons
1 large onion, diced
1 can cream of tomato soup*
3/4 cup water
1 cup medium Cheddar cheese, grated
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat. I used very lean ground beef so I didn’t need to drain the fat off. Once brown, add the carrots and the onions. Continue to cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes till the carrots are soft. Add the cream of tomato soup and the water. Mix well and then pour into a 2.75 or 3 quart baking dish. Carefully top with the mashed potato and then sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake a further 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the meat mixture is bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
*When my mum makes shepherd’s pie, she always uses Bisto gravy granules. I had a limited amount of the Bisto on hand and I needed to use it for the bangers and mash so that is why I used the cream of tomato soup. If you do this with Bisto then simply make up about a cup of the onion gravy and use it in lieu of the soup.
English Apple Crumble
7 medium tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400 F and grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter. Peel, core, and cut the apples into chunks. Place the apples in a saucepan with 1/3 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat, stirring once or twice, for 20 mins, or until the apples are tender but not falling apart. Spoon into the baking dish.
Combine the flour and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Cut in the butter in to very small dabs and then use your fingertips to blend with the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle the crumble on top of the apples. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with custard (or vanilla ice-cream). I used Bird’s custard powder which I found at Publix.
Hope you enjoy watching the 2012 Olympic Games! I love watching the Olympics and will be cheering for all the athletes, not just the British or the American teams.