Lunch on the go: The Pork Pie Ploughman's
Serves: 1, Prepare in: , Cook in:
If you've hit the slump January brings, we're here to help. After the excitement of Christmas and the festive flavours, January food doesn't need to taste bland in comparison. Today, we're bringing an idea for your lunches: the pork pie Ploughman's! It's easy and quick that won't take up all your time in the mornings but will be tasty and easy to eat at lunch! We've also let you in on our piccalilli recipe so you can make a batch and then enjoy it for many lunches to come - so though the cook time is a bit longer on this one, just make it one lazy Sunday afternoon then store it in a handy jar in the fridge!
Let’s go straight in with the ultimate ploughman’s lunch. With zero cooking time, we’re on to a winner with this one. All you need to do on a morning is gather ingredients together and make a simple chutney to really bring all the flavours together – piccalilli is optional but we’ve included our recipe anyway just incase.
For your pork pie Ploughman’s, you’ll need:
- Your favourite Vale of Mowbray pork pie
- A hard boiled egg
- Simple side salad, including rocket and tomato to really add a bit of tang and flavour
- A slice or two of sourdough bread
- Your favourite cheese, we’d recommend a mature cheddar or stilton as these cheeses really compliment the pork pie
For the piccalilli:
We pack our piccalilli full of tasty veggies, if we’ve missed out your favourite veg, just add it in too!
- 1/2 cauliflower, chunked
- 1 head of broccoli, chunked into small florets
- 2 bulbs of chunked fennel
- 4 finely sliced red chillies
- 2 finely sliced green chillies
- 200g green beans, chopped
- 300g of shallots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil
- 2 tablespoons of mustard seeeds
- 2 tablespoons of English mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons of fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons of tumeric
- 1 grated nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 500ml white wine vinegar
- 2 grated apples
- 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
- 6 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
- 4 bay leaves
With piccalilli, there’s no real right or wrong in terms of what you can add. With such a rustic dish, everyone’s recipe is slightly different with what they like to add in! So get creative in terms of the veggies you add in! The piccalilli should ideally be left to infuse for a month before eating, with tightly closed lids so that it reaches it’s best flavour potential!
- Put all the veggies into a bowl, cover with water and add in the salt, leaving in a cool place for an hour
- In a saucepan, add the mustard oil and fry the mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin and nutmeg for just a moment. Lower the heat and then add the mustard powder, flour and just a splash of vinegar. Give it a good stir and it will make a thick paste.
- Add the remaining vinegar, a splash at a time and 100ml of water until it forms a smooth paste.
- Add in: apples, mangoes, sugar, garlic, oregano and bay leaves, cooking for a further 2-3 mins.
- Drain the veggies from the salty water and add them into the pan, stirring to coat them in the paste.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are softened and starting to release some juice.
- Spoon into your jars and tightly close the lids.
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!