Whether you fancy the Royal Wedding or the Chelsea-Manchester United, here's what you need to nosh
Half the fun of British foods is their names.
What's not to love about bangers and mash, toad-in-the-hole and bubble and squeak?
Translations: bangers and mash are sausages and mashed potatoes, toad-in-the-hole is “pork sausage meets Yorkshire pudding” and bubble and squeak is boiled cabbage, potatoes and meat fried together. May 19 is shaping up to be a very busy day that calls for a celebration of British-inspired dishes.
At Piper's Pub on Pittsburgh's South Side, where patrons are served “a taste of the British Isles,” owner Drew Topping and chef/manager Mindy Heisler expect a lot of cheering and merriment for two major events taking place that day.
Of course, first and foremost will be the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle taking place in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England. For those in the U.K., the wedding starts at noon — that's 7 a.m. for U.S. viewers.
Meanwhile, English football (soccer) fanatics will be tuned in for The Emirates Football Association (FA) Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United set to kickoff at 12.15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. in the U.K.) the same day. The British pub and restaurant is a popular meeting place during English Premier League soccer matches and lists the league's schedule on its website.
Piper's Pub expects to have enthusiastic patrons for both events. Brunch is served 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Next door, the Pub Chip Shop is open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering traditional British fare such as fish and chips, freshly baked biscuits and breakfast Tot Boxes, featuring crisp-fried potato tots served with fried chicken and gravy or eggs with ham or steak and cheese sauce.
Heisler says that for Royal Wedding or football watching, “a full English breakfast or fry-up is the obvious choice, consisting of sausages or bacon, Heinz baked beans, blistered tomatoes, fried thick-cut toast, and in many cases potatoes, black or white sausages, kippers (smoked herring) and mushrooms. It is not a breakfast for the faint of heart.”
Freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, beans on toast, bangers and mash and toad- in-the-hole are all excellent choices any time of day “and you can't forget the HP Sauce,” she adds.
The English Breakfast Society (englishbreakfastsociety.com), a nonprofit organization based in Hertfordshire, England, is dedicated to the tradition and heritage of the full English breakfast, a British breakfast tradition with roots tracing back to the early 1300s, according to Guise Bule, chairman of the Society.
“In the old Anglo-Saxon tradition of hospitality, households would provide hearty breakfasts for visiting friends, relatives and neighbors,” Bule says.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
Full English Breakfast
The society's recipe for A Full English Breakfast (minus the black pudding in the photo, a type of blood sausage in the U.K.):
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: Breakfast for two
4 pork sausages
6 strips of back bacon
2 cups mushrooms
1 can of baked beans
Tea or coffee
Fresh orange juice
6 pieces of sliced bread
Grill your bacon, which will take the longest and grilling it under 200 degrees, turning it occasionally will make sure it cooks evenly on both sides. Cut notches in the fat so it doesn't curl up when it cooks, making it more difficult to crisp up the fat.
Next, start frying bread. Fried bread is one of the English breakfasts dirty little pleasures because it's so greasy, but fried bread is brilliant with a fried egg on top and makes your breakfast deliciously crunchy. Fry two slices and put them on a plate to stay warm near the grill.
Once your fried bread is done, now start frying your tomatoes and mushrooms. They only need to be lightly fried before being put on the hot plate with your fried bread to await breakfast assembly.
Now start cooking your sausages, they need to be fried evenly and well to make sure they are cooked inside and out. Fry the eggs.
Before your sausages are done cooking, put the other two pieces of bread in the toaster or under the grill. When they are toasted, put them on the hotplate with the other waiting ingredients.
When you put your toast in is a good time to start cooking your baked beans, they usually just need to be heated up and you can do that in 2 minutes in a microwave or in a small pan on the stove.
When your sausages are ready, assemble all of the ingredients on their final plates for serving.
Serve breakfast with fresh tea and coffee, together with a glass of fresh orange juice.
Make sure there is a selection of jam, butter and marmalade for the toast on the table, as well as salt, pepper, tomato sauce and HP Brown sauce if you can get it.
Royal Wedding Trifle
The pièce de résistance for this special day is a traditional British trifle decorated to celebrate the Royal Wedding. BerryWorld, www.berryworld.com, a Hertfordshire, England-based soft fruit marketing company that sources fresh berries and currants from growers to the U.K.'s supermarket and food service industry, shares its recipe that the company says “will steal the show at parties with its fun Union Jack top made from berries.”
Prep time: 30 mins
Ingredients (in International System of Units measurements)
1 kg strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
30 g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
8 madeleine cakes (shop bought is fine)
3 tbsp Marsala wine (optional)
700 g ready-made custard (available at Amazon or specialty grocery stores)
200 g mascarpone
400 ml double cream (heavy cream)
Extra raspberries, strawberries and blueberries to decorate
Hull and chop any large strawberries and put into a bowl with raspberries and blueberries, sprinkle over the icing sugar and give everything a gentle mash with a fork. Set aside to macerate.
Lay the madeleines in the bottom of a large trifle bowl, spread out to fill the gaps as much as possible. Drizzle over the Marsala wine if using.
Once the berries look juicy, spoon half of them, with their juice, over the cake and leave to soak in.
Whip together the custard and mascarpone until smooth and spoon half over the berries spreading to the edges. Spoon over the rest of the berries then top with the remaining custard.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and spoon 2⁄3 over the trifle and level.
Use the extra berries to create a Union Jack pattern leaving a gap between each colour.
Using a narrow piping tip, pipe the remaining cream between the berries to create the white parts of the flag.
Candied Ginger and Rosemary Scones
A British scone is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, especially served clotted cream and jam. Market District chefs offer this recipe.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
3 oz. candied ginger
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup whole-wheat pastry (or all-purpose) flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp. skim milk
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 400°F. Finely chop candied ginger, reserving loose sugar from ginger. Place flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add yogurt, ginger, rosemary and milk; pulse a few more times until mixture just comes together.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a ball. Divide in two and form into 6-inch rounds. Cut each round into 6 wedges and separate slightly.
Place on baking pan lined with parchment paper and brush each with egg mixture; sprinkle with reserved candied ginger sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool.