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what can you make without a recipe?

2010 March 10
by David Smith

A survey by UKTV Food claims to have discovered the top 10 main course dishes the British can make without referring to a recipe. And they are:

Spaghetti Bolognese (65%)
Roast Dinner (54%)
Chilli Con Carne (42%)
Lasagne (41%)
Cottage or Shepherd’s Pie (38%)
Meat or fish Stir Fry (38%)
Beef Casserole (34%)
Macaroni Cheese (32%)
Toad in the Hole (30%)
Meat, fish or vegetable Curry (26%)

The percentages after each recipe are the proportion of people surveyed, out of a total of 3000, who said they could make that recipe by heart. The idea was that if you could make a recipe by heart you were making it quite often and so the survey would indicate the most popular dishes cooked at home from scratch. The recipes had to be for a main course dish having more than 4 ingredients so something like sausage and chips wouldn’t count (unless you make your own sausages that is).

It’s interesting to see that nearly half the folk in this country either can’t cook a traditional Roast Dinner without a recipe or simply never cook roast dinners any more. The Roast Beef of Old England has been usurped by Spaghetti Bolognese.

spaghetti bolognese

spaghetti bolognese (picture from Wikipedia)

Out of the 10 only the Roast Dinner, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Casserole and Toad-In-The-Hole could truly be considered to be traditional British dishes although I doubt many of the foreign dishes come out very much like their counterparts in their country of origin. I would bet too that a jar of curry sauce counts as one ingredient in the curries that are made without a recipe by 26% of the population.

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