British Bites: Ploughman's Pate

British Bites

Classic British dishes updated for the modern American cook.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

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Traditionally ploughman's pate was a way to use up bits of leftover cheese and stretch ingredients as far as possible. Often a part of a "ploughman's lunch," this flavorful cheese spread can be made with whatever cheese you have on hand, although a mixture of sharp British-style cheeses makes up the classic flavor profile. Generally you're looking for crumbly, cheddar-like cheeses that grate easily but aren't too hard (like parmesan).


Once you mix your ingredients together, a simple way of storing ploughman's pate is rolled in plastic wrap. This technique makes it easy to store, but also makes for an attractive presentation when sliced and put on the plate. While I like to have this for a light lunch with toast and some lightly dressed watercress, I've been know to smear it on a hot baked potato for a easy side dish next to a hearty roast.