The British CookbookAuthentic home cooking recipes from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland


Discover over 550 much-loved recipes celebrating the rich traditions of regional and seasonal British cooking

In The British Cookbook, author and food historian Ben Mervis takes readers on a mouth-watering culinary tour across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, revealing a cuisine as diverse as the landscape from which it originates.

Part cookbook, part cultural history, this deeply researched collection of 550 authentic recipes encompasses home-cooked classics, such as Shepherd’s Pie, Welsh Rarebit, Scottish Crumpets, and Victoria Sponge; lesser-known and regional recipes, such as Bonfire Night Black Peas and Dublin Bay Prawns; dishes deeply steeped in British history, such as Haggis and Devils on Horseback; and iconic dishes with roots outside of the United Kingdom, such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Curry Goat, and Sesame Prawn Toast.

The recipes are fascinating to read and easy to follow, with lively descriptions of each dish’s origins; clear, user-friendly instructions; and helpful notes on unique ingredients and techniques. Stunning photographs of food and local scenery complete this exciting ode to British cuisine.

Chapters include:

  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Soups and Stews
  • Vegetables
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Poultry
  • Game and Game Birds
  • Beef
  • Pork and Lamb
  • Savoury Pies and Pasties
  • Stuffings, Dumplings, Porridge and Pastry
  • Griddle Cakes and Breads
  • Oven-Baked Breads and Savoury Bakes
  • Cakes, Buns and Biscuits
  • Puddings and Pies
  • Sauces, Confections and Preserves

Ben Mervis is a respected food historian, researcher, and writer. He has worked at restaurant noma in Copenhagen, and as a contributor and researcher on Netflix’s Chef’s Table. In 2017 he launched the magazine Fare, an exploration of city culture through food, history, and community. Ben has worked alongside chefs from around the UK to draw together the collection of dishes for The British Cookbook.

Featured in Travel + Leisure’s Best Fall Food Books

The 10 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2022 – Eater

Best Fall 2022 Cookbooks – Food & Wine

‘A treasure trove of splendidly named delicacies … This is one of those cookbooks that works as well for reference as it does for actual cooking, though the wealth of griddle cakes, crumpets, loaves, and buns alone makes a compelling case for the latter.’ – Eater

‘Ready for a culinary tour of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland? Author and food historian Ben Mervis is your guide answering your questions on British cooking.’ – Philadelphia Inquirer

‘Staggeringly comprehensive and deeply researched, it’s a big, greedy, engrossing banquet of a book.’ – Marina O’Loughlin, British journalist, writer and restaurant critic

‘A fascinating dive into the historic underbelly of British cuisine … required reading for any person interested in food.’ – René Redzepi, head chef and owner of restaurant noma in Copenhagen

‘This cookbook celebrates both traditional British cuisine as well as the multi-faceted cuisine it has evolved into with the influences of migration and immigration – truly representing the essence of Britain as a country that embraces change and integration.’ – Sumayya Usmani, author Summers Under the Tamarind Tree

‘Just what the doctor ordered: a thoughtful, intelligent, tried-and-true compendium … lovely stuff, and timely.’ – Elisabeth Luard, food writer, artist and broadcaster

‘A great compendium of traditional recipes, and an excellent introduction for home and professional cooks alike; I greatly enjoyed learning about many regional recipes I’d never heard of before.’ – Pierre Koffmann, internationally acclaimed chef

‘Nothing goes to waste in this bountiful feast. Anglophiles and hungry history buffs will find much to explore.’ – Publishers Weekly

‘Looking for your meat pies and puddings? [The British Cookbook] has ’em, along with roasts, trifles, all manner of cakes and breads, and much more.’ – Paula Forbes, Stained Page News

‘The tide is finally turning on the outdated notion that British food isn’t crave-worthy. Ben Mervis showcases the variety of British cooking with a robust collection of favored staples like the Full Breakfast, Mince and Tatties, and the Scotch Egg (a dish I’ve yet to master), as well as many, many more. The book is laid out with an easily navigable index and punctuated by dreamy images of the English countryside. For those who love a good British dish and want some inspiration in between trips across the pond, this cookbook is for you.’ – Sean Flynn, Food & Wine

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