The Ploughman’s lunch is ideal for creating a quick lunch which can be eaten cold, so its great for taking with you to work or on a day out in the countryside. Of course, you can bend the rules a little and warm up aspects if you have the facilities, such as the pork pie – give it 10-15 minutes in the microwave at 180°C until it’s piping hot throughout the pie – if you’re feeling a little fancy, just as it’s ready, take it out the oven and sprinkle some grated cheese over the top of the pie, then put it back in the oven for a minute to let the cheese melt over the top of the pie – delicious!
You’ll also need a bit of bread, salad, a boiled egg and of course, your homemade piccalilli! The Ploughman’s lunch is a wonderful English tradition that originated as a packed lunch for the workers to take out into the fields for a Ploughman. There’s some debate about where the name and contents of the meal comes from, there’s a strong argument for the idea evolving in the 1960s due to the Cheese Bureau’s attempt to increase the consumption and sale of cheese, since at time, it was no longer a rationed item after the Second World War. Others claim it must have been over a century before this that it was first deemed the Ploughman’s lunch as there’s mentions of it in the 1837 Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott. There’s arguments against this however saying that it could be referring to the lunch of the ploughman in general and not this specific combination. Either way, the combination will have been eaten for centuries so we’re not completely sure when it originated.
To drink, the lunch is usually enjoyed with a beer or cider if preferred. Since you may be eating this at work, we’d suggest an equally lovely soft drink! Try a sparkling white grape and elderflower juice or a Yorkshire cloudy lemonade.
How do you eat your Ploughman’s? We’re always looking for new ideas, some stick loyally to the traditional components, but we’re pretty adventurous foodies over here at Vale of Mowbray so we’re open to ideas – a creamy coleslaw, seasonal fruit and pickled onions sounds delicious to us!