Jamie’s Great Britain – our verdict

Maureen: I think frankly all his best books are behind him.

Kirstin: So true. I don’t like his vision of Great Britain.

Maureen: And he just modified a lot of his older recipes. And most of his older recipes were better anyway; in fact all of his older recipes were better.

Kirstin: I have to admit I didn’t cook much from this book. I really struggled to find anything I wanted to eat from it.

Maureen: And the problem was that almost all of the recipes were weekend elaborate meals, not ones that you could bang up on a week night.

Kirstin: And none that our children were going to like, to be honest. Indeed I kept cooking from Bill this month because there were more recipes I wanted to try. And the kids loved those!

Maureen: The other thing that killed me about this book because you know this is going to be a Christmas bestseller but it’s his worst book to date. Which is saying a lot after the 30 minutes. The shame of it is that Lucas Hollweg‘s book was so much better and it will sell a mere fraction of the copies this one will sell.

Kirstin: I was going to give my copy away but managed to get a stain on it…gah! It’s going to have to go to a charity shop.

 

Jamie’s Great Britain – our verdict

“Early Autumn Cornish Pasties” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Andrew (12): I like this very much. I can’t fault it in any way.

Tim: How does it compare to Goddard’s Pies? (Editor’s Note: We faithfully buy Goddard’s Pies every weekend for lunch at Greenwich Market. We especially love the cheese and onion. Not a Cornish pasty, but delicious just the same.)

Andrew: Goddard’s Pies are very good, but these are also very good.

Nicholas (8): Goddard’s Pies are better.

Andrew: You’re digging your own grave!

Tim: It’s Halloween! He’s getting into the spirit of things by digging his own grave!

Maureen: I like it a lot more than I thought I would. I wasn’t sure about baking the skirt steak– I didn’t think it would cook completely– but it worked.

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“Early Autumn Cornish Pasties” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

“Toad in the Hole” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Or to be more accurate, maybe we should call it, “Deconstructed Toad in the Hole.”

Tim: I thought Toad in the Hole was supposed to have the batter and sausage together.

Maureen: Yes, me too. It doesn’t seem like it would be Toad in the Hole when it’s this way– with the batter separate from the sausages. This seems more like sausages with a side of Yorkshire pudding.

Tim: What’s the point of doing it this way? Maybe it’s to mess up more pans.

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“Toad in the Hole” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

“Fresh Tomato Soup” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Andrew (12): Is this a Jamie Oliver recipe?

Maureen: Yes. We’re still eating from the delights of Great Britain’s kitchens. Why do you ask?

Andrew: Because it looks… interesting.

Maureen: Good interesting or bad interesting?

Andrew: In the middle interesting.

Maureen: Hmm. So what do you think?

Andrew: It’s a bit too tomatoey. All I can taste is tomato and nothing else. So that decreases its grade slightly.

Maureen: Jamie says that it “pays respect to that iconic Heinz tinned soup that we’ve all grown up loving.” But if I wanted Heinz tomato soup, I would just buy some. It would save me a lot of trouble.

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“Fresh Tomato Soup” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

“White Pepper Skate” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Georgia: The fish was epic. And it tasted… fishy!

Tom: I liked the spicy crust. What was in it?

Kirstin: Fennel and white peppercorns. Miles said he didn’t like it, but he ate all of his!

Ella: I don’t mind it, but I don’t really like the crusty bit.

Kirstin: Turn the fish over! There’s more!

Ella: I’ve had enough, thank you.

Tom: I don’t think there’s a tidy way to eat skate.

Kirstin: And I watched the video on Jamie’s website of how to remove the bone! I can’t understand why the fishmonger doesn’t do that. But it was super easy to do and you know, if I’m stuck in a jungle trying to remove bones from a skate, I know what to do…

Tom: Would you make this again?

Kirstin: No. It’s too much of  a faff.

Ella: I wouldn’t eat it again, unless my life depended on it.

Tom: If you had to cook skate, would you cook this recipe?

Kirstin: No, I’d stick with Jamie’s old recipe, with radicchio and pancetta in it. I used to cook that every week and it was yum!

“White Pepper Skate” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

“My Nan’s St Clement’s Cake” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Anna: You know, this reminds me of the sort of cake you’d get at a village fair, with a cup of tea for a £1.  All proceeds to the NSPCC or something.

Kirstin: What, you mean a BRITISH village fair?

Anna: Exactly.

Kirstin: That sort that you got during the War, in Downton Abbey? For cheering up the troops? Did Mrs Patmore make it?

Anna: Daisy made it. She wept into the batter as she thought of our William at the Front. Surrounded by Germans one minute, back in Downton the next.

Kirstin: But she doesn’t love William! Or… does… she??!!

Anna: So, we’re agreed then. This cake is as British as Downton Abbey.

Kirstin: And possibly a little bit drier than it could be. I feel it should be moister.

Anna: Just living up to its wartime village fete image then. Haven’t you heard of rationing?

PostScript: We baked this last week before the tragic news of our William’s passing. Poor Daisy!

 

 

 

 

 

“My Nan’s St Clement’s Cake” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

“Superb Pork Loin” with “King of Mash: Irish Champ” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”

Maureen: Tonight we are having roast pork and Irish champ, which is just another version of mashed potatoes.

Nicholas (8): You mean strange mashed potatoes.

Maureen: They’re not strange! I think they’re delicious.

Andrew (12): The roast pork is nice. It tastes like sausages.

Maureen: Well, it should, since sausages are made out of pork.

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“Superb Pork Loin” with “King of Mash: Irish Champ” from “Jamie’s Great Britain”