Ploughman’s lunch

Ploughman’s lunch

Great Pub Food
Lisa Cohen


Quantity Ingredient
1 crusty country-style baguette
or 4 crusty bread rolls, thickly sliced
250g stilton
400g english cheddar
1 crisp red apple, quartered
1 crisp pear, quartered
8 pickled onions,, homemade or store bought, see recipe below
125ml piccalilli or other spiced mustard relish

Pickled onions

Quantity Ingredient
1kg pickling onions
3 tablespoons salt
1 litre white vinegar
110g sugar
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons allspice berries
3 whole cloves
4 small dried chillies, (optional) for an added kick


  1. To prepare your own pickled onions, peel the onions and place them in a large container or bucket. Combine the salt with 4 cups water in a large bowl, stirring until the salt dissolves. Pour over the onions, cover with baking paper and weigh down, if necessary, to keep them submerged. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours.
  2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice berries, cloves and chillies, if desired, in a saucepan and gently simmer over low–medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. Drain the onions and rinse under cold running water.
  4. Pack the onions into four 3 cup capacity sterilised jars. Pour the cooled vinegar pickling liquid over the top to cover. Seal the jars and leave for 3 weeks to pickle before using.
  5. To assemble the ploughman’s lunch, arrange the bread, cheeses, fruit and pickled onions on a large platter. Put the pickle and relish in two small dishes and set on the platter. Serve with butter knives.
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