The Ploughman’s lunch is a classic British dish that may be found on the menu of nearly any pub. Although served chilled, this dinner isn’t for those who prefer salads to sliced meats and cheese with pickles and bread spread with butter.
Traditional Ploughman’s Platter Origins:
A Traditional Ploughman’s Platter was originally intended to be a meal that a ploughman (or Ploughman) could take with him into the fields. It’s easy to believe that the Ploughman’s lunch has been around for quite some time, given that bread, cheese, and pickles were staples of the British lunch. After World War II rationing ended, cheese sales were slow, so a national advertising campaign in the 1960s depicted the modern Ploughman’s lunch to increase demand.
Ingredients in a Classic Ploughman’s Lunch
The components of a ploughman’s lunch may vary, but you can count on some form of crusty bread, some form of cheese, some pickled onions, and maybe some relish or chutney. Lunch might also consist of hard-boiled eggs, gammon, pate, pork pie, assorted cold meats and seasonal fruit like apple slices. Beer is a common accompaniment because the food is consumed at a tavern.
The Ploughman’s wife would traditionally provide a hearty and reasonably priced lunch of homemade cheese, bread, and pickles. Cheeses from the region or at least the county should be included in a decent ploughman’s lunch today, as should the meats and any other accompaniments. To properly support the cheese, chutney, and pickles, the bread must be either a thick wedge of crusty bread or a baguette.
The New Ploughman’s Lunch:
The popularity of the gastro-pub in Britain has given a contemporary spin to the traditional Ploughman’s lunch. Gastro-pubs are a new breed of pub where the cuisine is just as important as the drinks and the company. Nowadays, chefs often replace the conventional pub landlord as the business’s head of gastro-pubs.
They have made the traditional Ploughman’s lunch more luxurious by adding Scotch eggs, pates, terrines, tapenade, and other “fancy” meats.
A plated Ploughman’s board serves its purpose, but a wooden one is more attractive and durable. What could be better than eating with your spouse using only a butter knife and a tiny kitchen knife, each of a large, heavily laden chopping board? Side plates for spreading butter on bread are optional but not required. Recognise that you will make a mess and dive in.
Sandwich with bread, cheese, ham and pickled something. The ham is essential for purists, but without it, this is just bread and cheese, not a ploughman’s.
The bread must support the heavy weight of the ham and cheese. In terms of cheese, the best option is to serve two or three hard or semi-hard British cheeses at room temperature, with each cheese having a different flavour profile.
Baked, thick-sliced, ‘genuine’ pig ham is recommended. You don’t want any slices of thin, pale, strangely homogeneous boiling ham on there. Although the individual components of a ploughman’s lunch may be very one-dimensional, they generate something lively when combined. Putting together a ploughman’s lunch from fresh, flavorful products is enjoyable, but you don’t have to break the bank. It may even be pointless here.
Seasonings and other add-ons:
There must always be coleslaw and a touch of mustard when the ham is present. Peppery radishes, salted celery, and an apple are all necessary for palate cleansing freshness, although any one of them is preferable. Similarly, I prefer my Ploughman’s to come with much mustardy watercress rather than a limp, discordant “mixed salad” (weasel words on any menu). There is a use for that.
Every meal needs a big slab of salted butter. That’s just the right temperature for spreading. We cannot accept tiny pats of catering foil. Is this some garden centre?
The drink that goes well with Ploughman’s lunch is Beer; if not, you can go for Cider. Either of them tastes good with the perfect lunch with family and friends.
Brook Pub Plougjman’s Lunch:
We at the Brook Pub in Cambridge welcome you all to come and enjoy the Ployghman’s lunch with a super choice of locally sourced ingredients. Every Sunday from 12 PM to 4 PM during the months of June, July, and August, for £14.5, you can enjoy our Ploughman’s lunch at The Brook @ Cambridge.
You essentially have two choices:
- Locally sourced Pork Pie made with Cambridgeshire pork:
- Mini Scotch eggs:
- Traditionally cured honey roast ham:
- Blue stilton rich and flavoursome stilton cheese from Leicestershire
- 18-month matured vintage somerset cheddar
- Brie soft and creamy French classic all served with white or granary bread and butter.
You can choose Branston or Chutney, marinated red onion, Silver skin onions, Pickled gherkins, Red apple, salad leaves and cherry tomatoes. Some ingredients may be subject to change as per availability.
Ploughman’s lunch in Cambridge has always been popular among the locals, and we have come up with a modern platter with local produce to serve some of the fresh ingredients to our customers.
Brook Pub Drinks:
Many drinks are served at the Brook, but those accompanying Ploughman’s lunch are either a beer or a Cider. We also have other drinks on the menu, like Whiskies, Gin, Rum, best Cocktails, Wine, and best summer drinks Pitchers. Our team is happy to help you with their service so that you can enjoy your food and drinks with your loved ones. Our garden area is open for those who love the summer heat or get cosy at the indoor bar. It’s your choice.