Some say it was a marketing ploy to make cheese more popular. Others say it came from hungry farmers not having the time to put all their lunch ingredients together into a sandwich. Whatever the history, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the ploughman’s lunch is a true British classic.
And yet, despite this, nearly a quarter of ‘Generation Z’ say they’ve never tried it!
At LoCho, we think it’s time to put the ploughman’s lunch back on the table. If you aren’t sure where to start, keep reading to find out exactly what goes into the best ploughman’s lunch recipe.
The key ingredients
The good news is that putting together a ploughman’s lunch box is very, very simple. In fact, the classic ploughman’s lunch recipe has just three ingredients. All you need is...
1. Low-Carb Bread
A big chunk of bread – buttered if you prefer – is a staple of any good ploughman’s lunch recipe. But there’s really no right or wrong type of bread to choose. It’s very much a case of anything goes. White bread. Brown bread. Seeded bread. Artisan. Baguette. Loaf. Roll. It all works. The only real rule is that it’s got to be fresh. So we recommend going directly to a baker. Our super fresh LoCho breads are perfect for this.
A classic ploughman’s lunch recipe contains pickled onions. These add a sharpness to the platter, and are certainly great for awakening the taste buds! If you’re not keen on pickled onions, or want a lower-carb alternative, baby gherkins can work really well. Of course, these are the classic options. But pretty much any veggie can be pickled. ‘Crunchy’ veg works best, like carrots, radishes, fennel, and cauliflower. You can even try using pickled jalapenos if you want more of a spicy kick!
The third core ingredient in any ploughman’s lunch recipe is cheese. Any cheese will do the trick. But for the most authentic ploughman’s lunch box, select hard or semi-hard British cheeses. The cheese should have enough ‘tang’ to liven up the chunk of bread and butter, but not be so overpowering that it masks the sharpness of the pickles. A mature cheddar, a crumbly Lancashire, or even a blue cheese like a stilton all work really well. But there’s no harm in using your own favourite cheese.
So – fresh bread, tangy pickles, tasty cheese. That’s all you need for a delicious ploughman’s lunch. But why stop there? Here are some optional extras you might want to throw in for good measure:
- Meat: A couple of thick slices of ham, some coarse pate, or thinly sliced cured meats work brilliantly.
- Savoury pastries: For a more substantial meal, throw in a pork pie, a sausage roll or a Scotch egg.
- Fruit & veg: Sliced apples, grapes, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, and olives can boost nutritional value.
- Condiments: Incorporate even more flavour with some pickle, chutney, mustard, piccalilli, or balsamic vinegar.