Sometime during the 1950s, the Brits took to eating cold fast food and chasing it with a pint of whatever beer the local pub had on draft.

Sometime during the 1950s, the Brits took to eating cold fast food and chasing it with a pint of whatever beer the local pub had on draft. This meal almost always has a wedge of cheese which makes perfect sense when England's Cheese Bureau started promoting it as a way to sell cheese that had been rationed through World War II. A simple lunch that always has cheese, it is little more than a combination of ingredients that may be eaten cold in the fields the way in which ploughman back in the date ate their lunches. A boiled egg, pickled onions (aka chutney), bread, and an apple are traditional. While keeping in step with the ingredients being cold, we have elevated this cold meal ever so slightly with a bit of Black Forest ham, pears, a spicy, garlicky hot smoked paprika chorizo, Dijon mustard, Sicilian Castelvetrano olives, muscat grapes, and a handful of dried figs. Instead of a lager chaser, we pair cider, a favorite in the French countryside, with our cold spread. Instead of a hay field, we found a cozy spot in our own backyard along a New England fieldstone wall that, like in England, separates one farm from another, to enjoy this everyman's feast.

cuisine English
difficulty Simple
season Year Round
serves 1 or 2

Ingredients

6 slices Black Forest ham 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 spicy chorizo sausage 2 pears 1 small onion ficelle 1 small wedge cheddar 1 small bunch muscat grapes Small fistful Castelvetrano green olives in brine, drained 1/4 cup dried figs, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes 1 bottle hard cider

Directions

  1. Choose the best in season ingredients possible: nitrate-free ham and charcuterie, seasonal fruit, and a high-quality bread.
  2. Place all of the items on a board or a platter or even a dinner plate.
  3. Pour the cider and enjoy.