Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Proper English Dinner

For dinner tonight, G heated prepared a proper English dinner. But before we go on to the ingredients and how-to's let me first define what his version of a 'proper English dinner' is. 

2 Veg + 1 Meat English Dinner

This is the proper English dinner for a working class living in the northern part of England. According to G, the rationale between this meal is that: it's filling, it's affordable and it helps keep them warm. Also, there is no sharp taste as the English prefer their food bland.

What we had was a Two Veggie and One Meat type where there's the mixed veggies (Peas and Corn) and Chips or French Fries as vegetables (yeah, they do consider chips as a veg) and Beef Pie which served as the meat. This isn't a difficult meal to prepare as everything's ready made and available in most supermarkets.


Corn Kernels 
Frozen, Canned, Fresh whichever you prefer. What we had was frozen.

Green Peas
Frozen, Canned or Fresh. Again, we bought a frozen pack.

You can also add in carrots, cut it in small cubes. But I do not like carrots so we can do without it.

Chips (Fries)
Do get the thick ones. What we got was the pathetic thin ones but it's still fries chips and it is still love.

You can get different meat pies from the supermarket. But it would be best to get the Beef or Pork ones for it to be really flavourful. I insisted on the beef (not chicken, I feel that it's too safe of a choice).

Go for white for it to be really tasty. If you're a health bum then you may have the whole wheat and grain breads. 

Margarine to spread on the bread, salt to add taste to the mixed vegetables, vinegar (their type of vinegar) and the HP brown sauce.


The hardest bit in preparing this meal is to time the cooking of the ingredients perfectly so everything should be done at the same time so as to serve it all hot.

Baking the Chips
Make sure you do this one first as it's the longest to prepare. G chose to oven bake the chips  (I didn't know that was possible until now. I always knew you have to deep fry the Fries). Best to follow the instructions on the pack, which is what he did. Preheat oven and put the chips in it for about 25 minutes or until brown. And it's best to cook the chips frozen so as to retain it's crispiness (that's my friend JC's advice).

Cooking the Veggies
Just follow the instructions on the bag. What G did was boil water with a dash of salt in it. When it's boiling, drop the corn and peas and cook until tender.

Heating the Pies
You can never go wrong when you follow the instructions on the paper. As for our pie, again it's ready made so he just had to put it in the microwave oven for 3.5 minutes. You have to do this when the Chips are nearly ready.

Buttering the Bread
Or in our case, we put in margarine. You may start with these when your pies are ready. Toast or heat it as preferred.

Their meal isn't the "Asian Sharing Type" as G put it so you have to put in equal amount of everything onto the plate.

Final Touch
Before diving in to the meal, the last and final touch would be pouring brown sauce and vinegar on your pie, chips and veggies. Put as much as preferred. As for me, I liked the vinegar more so I put more onto my chips and pie, margarine (or butter) on my veggies and the brown sauce on the side.

Left: Their Vinegar
Right: the House of Parliamentary Brown Sauce

 I did enjoy my first proper English dinner heated made by G. At first I thought the fries chips weren't enough and we would need more but I was wrong: one plateful had me really full.

And don't forget to wash the meal down with a cup of hot tea to complete the meal.

Note: This is what I get for NOT working on a Saturday. I so love it.

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