Unusual Fact: In 1894, The Times estimated that by 1950, London would be 9 feet deep in horse manure

Image from Anglotopia
Image from Anglotopia
Bodiam Castle
Image from Wikepedia

I am scared to write some of these posts. Especially for the famous countries. Sometimes I have dreams that an angry Canadian Grandma will knock down our front door and force me to cook from Canada again (I would happily oblige because Canada was delicious).

DSC_1010 For entrée we had broccoli and stilton soup. I was a little apprehensive about putting cheese in soup, but it really works. It cuts through the stock and shines. It with the broccoli makes a super creamy soup! This is a great vegetarian meal, it can be fancy or comfort food.


We then had shepherds pie. This is a lot more traditional that your every day run of the mill shepherds pie. Well, I like to think so because we don’t normally put this much time and this many  ingredients into our shepherds pies. Instead of mince, which contains all the funny end bits, you use diced lamb which has less fat. Or alternatively, you could use whatever cooked meat you have around. This shepherds pie has lots of extra flavour in it as well, ingredients you wouldn’t normally think would go in shepherds pie – soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mace, lemon zest and apple cider. There’s no way I can explain this beautiful pie to you; you’re going to have to make it yourself!


The roast vegetables, I have to say were a bit of a fail. We didn’t have all the types of vegetables we needed, I didn’t cook them for long enough and then I forgot to make up the creme fraiche sauce to go with them. If I had of done all these things they I’m sure they would have been quite pleasing.

There has been one learning experience though. I would rather wash my mouth with soap then eat another turnip.


This pudding though; mmmmmmm. It is packed with flavour, it has vanilla, cinnamon and orange. I forgot to butter each piece of bread and layer them properly, so next time I would definitely do that because doing it this way and stuffing the bread and forcing as much to fit as possible meant that it came our a bit dry. But honestly, when the custards this good, I don’t think anyone will notice.

Also, the recipe says to add dates, but I felt that they were un-English (this is the part where the English grandma knocks down our door) so I left them out.

Image from Celtic Tours

I just want to say a massive thank you to my friend Claudia. Claudia moved from the Cotswolds (I think that’s where the picture above is from) to Australia five years ago, but her accent would suggest that she just moved yesterday! She gave me lots of help when it came to choosing the menu for England.


Mum 9

Claudia 9

Me 8

Shepherds Pie:

Mum 9

Claudia 8

Me 8


Mum 9

Claudia 10

Me 8


Broccoli and Stilton Soup recipe from BBC


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 knob butter
  • 1l low salt or homemade chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 head broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 140g Stilton, or other blue cheese, crumbled


  1. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan and then add the onions. Cook on a medium heat until soft. Add a splash of water if the onions start to catch.
  2. Add the celery, leek, potato and a knob of butter. Stir until melted, then cover with a lid. Allow to sweat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid.
  3. Pour in the stock and add any chunky bits of broccoli stalk. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the rest of the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Stir in the stilton, allowing a few lumps to remain. Season with black pepper and serve.


Shepherds Pie recipe from SBS Food Safari


500 g – cooked lamb (or whatever meat you have left over)
8–10 – medium potatoes such as desiree
2 tbsp – olive oil
1 – onion, finely chopped
2–3 – celery stalks, diced
2 – carrots, finely diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2–3 tsp – plain flour
2 tsp – mustard powder
about 125 ml stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
dash of soy sauce
generous splash of Worcestershire sauce
3 pinches – ground mace
grated zest of 1 lemon
125 ml – apple cider
2 – bay leaves
½ bunch – flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp – butter, plus extra for glazing
warm milk
1 – egg, lightly beaten
grated cheese (optional)


Mince the lamb in an old-fashioned mincer or in a food processor. Put the potatoes in a large pot of water and boil until soft.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion and celery. Fry until the onion is translucent then add the carrot. Cook over medium heat for 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the lamb, then add the flour and mustard powder along with the stock for moisture. Stir well. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire, mace, lemon zest and apple cider – the mixture should be gooey but not sloppy. Add the bay leaves and parsley and take off the heat.

Once the potatoes are soft, drain and mash with the butter and warm milk. Season to taste and stir in the egg.

Butter a large baking dish and add the meat mixture. Top with a thick layer of mashed potato. Sprinkle with grated cheese if you wish. Glaze the mash with some extra melted butter.

Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes or until the potato is golden on top.


Roast Vegetables Recipe from Delicious World Menus


100g creme fraiche

1tbs freshly grated horseradish or 2tbs horseradish cream

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2tbs white wine vinegar

500g kipfler potatoes, scrubbed halved

1 bunch baby turnips

1 bunch dutch (baby) carrots, trimmed

4 small parsnips, halved lengthways

6 Jerusalem artichokes, halved

50g unsalted butter

1 bunch thyme, leaves, picked


Preheat oven to 180˚C. place creme fraiche, horseradish, garlic and vinegar in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Par-boil potato in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, adding turnips, carrots, parsnips and artichoke for the final 2 minutes.

Place the butter and thyme in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until melted, Toss the vegetables in the herb butter, then transfer to a roasting pan. Season, then roast, turning once, for 15 minutes or until slightly crisp on the edges, golden and cooked through.

Serve warm with creme fraiche sauce.


Bread and Butter Pudding recipe from SBS


  • 500 ml thickened cream (35% milk fat)
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange, zested finely
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 150 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 600 g brioche or good-quality white bread
  • butter, softened, for greasing
  • 200 g Medjool dates, pitted and torn into quarters
  • icing sugar, for dusting and
  • pouring cream or vanilla ice-cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (Gas 2).

Bring the cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon and orange zest.

Stir the egg yolks and whole egg in a heatproof bowl, then add the caster sugar. Add the hot cream mixture, a little at a time, whisking as you go.

In the meantime, break the brioche into rough golf ball-sized hunks. Butter a 2 litre-capacity baking dish generously with butter, then dust lightly with caster sugar. Arrange the brioche in the dish and disperse the dates between the layers.

Strain the cream mixture through a sieve over the brioche. Allow to soak for some time (about 1 hour), pushing the brioche pieces down occasionally as they soak up the liquid and become quite squishy.

Dust with caster sugar and bake for 50–60 minutes or until golden and set.

To serve, enjoy the pudding hot, dusted with icing sugar, with cream or ice-cream on the side.


4 thoughts on “England

  1. I have just heard about your website from Nic and had a quick look when we came home. Absolutely wonderful! What an amazing endeavour! Congratulations Elly. Will explore further tomorrow.

Have a thought?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s