Best of British: Selection of Party Sandwiches πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

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Super delicious British sandwiches with three different fillings – meaty, vegetarian and fish/seafood

Recipe Intro

In recent years, the British culinary scene has witnessed a dynamic evolution in the realm of sandwiches, showcasing a fusion of global influences and traditional ingredients. This interplay between tradition and innovation ensures that the British sandwich landscape remains vibrant and ever-evolving. Whether it’s the fancy sandwiches you find in cool city cafes or the more traditional ones served in local tea rooms, there’s now a perfect sandwich to suit every taste and occasion.

The origin of the sandwich can be traced back to 18th-century England. The story goes that John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was a dedicated gambler who didn’t want to leave the gaming table for a meal. Instead, he instructed his servant to place his meat between two slices of bread. This allowed him to eat without using utensils and without getting his cards greasy. Others at the table soon began ordering “the same as Sandwich,” and thus, the concept of the sandwich was born.
While this anecdote connects to the sandwich’s origins, it’s crucial to note that various cultures throughout history have explored the idea of placing fillings between bread in different variations.

There are numerous variations available for preparing a sandwich selection. This recipe concentrates on traditional British sandwiches, the kind you can find almost everywhere in the UK. Supermarkets and shops commonly sell them in a triangular shape (square bread sliced diagonally).
Sandwiches are a popular choice for lunch in Britain. This is quite different from what is typically prepared for lunch across most of Europe.

I prepared meaty, vegetarian, and fish/seafood sandwiches. These are the classics and the most popular ones. Feel free to mix and match or add extra ingredients for endless variations and combinations!

Essential Ingredients

Meat sandwiches

  • ham – This is usually thinly sliced cooked ham. In the UK, we have options like honey-roasted, Wiltshire ham, and similar varieties. Even plain pizza ham can be a delicious choice
  • sausages – Feel free to use any fresh sausage of your choice ( not the cured or dry ones for cooking), such as Cumberland
  • bacon – For the bacon, whether smoked or unsmoked, choose according to your preference, making sure you buy thinly sliced rashers
  • roasted chicken – Make use of any leftovers from a roast or conveniently grab some thinly sliced roasted chicken from the deli
  • cooked beef – Purchase sliced, cooked or roasted beef, or opt for pastrami

Fish sandwiches

  • canned tuna – Select canned tuna, either tuna chunks or fillet pieces, ensuring it’s in natural juices or water, avoiding tuna in oil
  • smoked salmon – Buy thin slices of smoked salmon from the deli. You can choose a lightly smoked or even a flavoured one.
  • canned salmon – This is plain canned salmon, similar to the canned tuna variety,
  • prawns – Feel free to buy either precooked or raw prawns, whether fresh or frozen. If frozen, ensure thorough defrosting before use. If purchased raw, consider blanching them for a few minutes and use once cooled.

Vegetarian sandwiches

  • cucumber – opt for the highest quality, preferably organic
  • tomato – Any variety will do, choose your favourite type. Large (beef) tomatoes work perfectly, as you’ll need one thin slice to cover the entire bread slice.
  • semi-hard cheese – Cheddar is the best. If you can’t find it in your country, purchase any other type of semi-hard cheese, preferably mature.
  • watercress – Choose fresh, vibrant watercress to add a peppery kick to your sandwiches.
Preparation Tips

– If you choose to keep the crust, that’s fine, but be aware that it may be harder to cut the sandwich neatly in half later. Removing the crust gives the sandwich a more polished and classy appearance when served.
You can prepare some fillings one day in advance.
– Precut meat and cheese for certain sandwiches.
– Prepare egg mayo, chicken coronation, prawn mayo, and tuna mayo in advance.
– Boil eggs, roast, bake, or fry bacon rashers, fry thinky sliced mushrooms , also fry sausages and then sliced them thin.
– Ensure to spread butter on all slices of bread, especially those with soft fillings. Buttering bread serves several purposes in sandwich making. It adds flavour, contributes to the overall texture, and can create a barrier that prevents the bread from becoming too soggy when prepared with soft ( liquidy) fillings. Additionally, it enhances the richness of the sandwich and complements the various ingredients.
– When filling sandwiches, keep them whole and only cut them in half after filling. Use a very sharp knife, and ensure the sandwiches were in the fridge before cutting for easier and neater slicing. Cut them just before serving.

Serve it with a soup of your choice for a delicious lunch or prepare them as canapΓ©s for various occasions.

Recipe Card

Best of British: Party Sandwich Selection

Super delicious British sandwiches with three different fillings – meaty, vegetarian and seafood
Servings 10
Prep Time 45 minutes
Filling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

BREAD

  • 1 packet sliced white bread - 800g
  • 1 packet sliced whole wheat or brown bread - 800g
  • 1 packet sliced malted bread with seeds - 800g

VEGETARIAN SANDWICHES

  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 cup watercress
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tomatoes - large
  • Cheddar - or other mature semi-hard cheese
  • 4-5 tbsp chutney - tomato or onion
  • 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lemon

MEAT SANDWICHES

  • 200 g ham
  • 1 sausage
  • 5 bacon rashers
  • 1/2 cup roasted chicken
  • 3-4 slices beef
  • 1-2 tbsp horseradish
  • 6-7 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1-2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 mushrooms
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 small gherkin
  • 1 tbsp sweetcorn

FISH SANDWICHES

  • 200 g smoked salmon
  • 1 can canned salmon - 150g-200g
  • 200 g canned tuna - 200g
  • 200 g cream cheese - Philadelphia or similar
  • 2 tbsp sweetcorn
  • 1 cup prawns
  • 6-7 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon
  • black pepper, salt - to taste

OTHER

  • butter

Instructions

  • Prepare the bread by removing all crusts, then butter each slice
  • MEAT SANDWICHES
    Ham & Cheese: Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on one side (ham side). Add 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese.
    Beef & Horseradish: Spread one slice of bread with a mixture of horseradish and mayonnaise. Add thinly sliced cold beef or Pastrami.
    BLT – Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato: Bake or fry bacon rashers until crispy. You can add it as a whole piece or break it into smaller pieces. Add lettuce and thinly sliced tomato over lettuce and then bacon.
    Ham & Mustard: Spread one slice of bread with spicy mustard, spreading it very thinly. Add 2 slices of ham.
    Coronation Chicken: For the filling: Mix 5 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp curry powder, some chopped raisins, 1 cup of shredded roasted or boiled chicken, salt, pepper to taste, 1 tsp white vine vinegar, and 1/2 tsp sugar. This amount will be enough for about 6-8 mini sandwiches. Soak the raisins in hot water to soften them before use. Add the filling in a thick layer.
    Chicken Caesar: On one side of bread, add a thin layer of mayonnaise. Add the grated hard cheese of your choice, then pieces of roasted or boiled chicken. Season with black pepper. Add 1-2 thin slices of boiled eggs and then lettuce leaves.
    Egg & Bacon: Boil 2 eggs and chop finely or use an egg slicer. Put them in a bowl, add 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Add bacon in pieces and mix well. Spread the filling.
    English Breakfast: First add 1-2 slices of boiled egg, then roasted bacon, thinly sliced sausages, fried mushrooms, and tomato slice. Everything should be very thinly sliced.
    Chicken Mayo: In a bowl, mix 4 tbsp of mayonnaise with 1 cup of shredded roasted chicken, 2 tbsp of sweetcorn, finely chopped gherkin, add salt, pepper to taste. Spread bread slices with a thick layer of filling. Add lettuce on top.
  • FISH & SEAFOOD SANDWICHES
    Tuna & Mayo: In a bowl, add flaked tuna from a can. Drain the tuna well before use. Add 3 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1 tbsp of sweetcorn, salt, and pepper. If desired, add finely chopped spring onions and bell pepper. Drizzle with 1tsp of lemon juice and mix well. Spread bread slices with a thick layer of filling.
    Prawn & Mayo: Mix chopped or whole prawns with 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise, black pepper, and a little lemon juice. Spread bread slices with the filling.
    Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese: Spread one side of bread with cream cheese , add a piece of smoked salmon, black pepper, and drizzle some lemon juice.
    Salmon and Cucumber: Drain the canned salmon well, add to a bowl, and flake it. Drizzle with lemon juice and add black pepper. Mix well. Spread bread slices with the salmon filling, and cover it with thinly sliced cucumber. Should be transparent thin.
  • VEGETARIAN SANDWICHES
    Cucumber: For this delicate sandwich, use fine white bread with a denser texture. Add thinly sliced cucumber, which must be peeled. Sprinkle with a little salt and drizzle some lemon juice.
    Egg & Cress: Boil eggs and chop finely, mix with mayonnaise (the same step as for the egg & bacon version). Spread bread slices with a layer of egg mayo. On top, add cress, lightly pressing it into the egg, and season with black pepper.
    Cheese & Pickle: On one slice, spread some tomato, onion etc. chutney. Cover with slices of semi-hard cheese of your choice. The best is Cheddar, or other mature cheese.
    Cheese & Tomato: Add thinly sliced tomato slices that have been placed on a paper towel before adding to the sandwich, this is to absorb excess liquid. Add semi-hard cheese of your choice, Cheddar or other mature cheese is best!
  • Prepare sandwiches according to the recipe or choose your favourites. Focus on one variety at a time. Once filled, cut them either diagonally or in half, as I did.

Notes

Please note, the calories estimate of 120 is based on one slice of bread (one sandwich as in the recipe) and an average filling calorie amount. Check your specific brands and calculate precise calories accordingly.
Calories: 120kcal
Course: lunch, Snack
Cuisine: British

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