Ploughman's Pate Recipe

British Bites

Classic british dishes updated for the modern American cook.

Ploughman's Pate Recipe

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

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.

  • Yield:Makes 3/4 cup
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup mixed grated semi-firm cheese (sharp cheddar, Wensleydale, Gloucester and Red Leicester are all good ones)
  • 1/4 cup soft, high fat cheese (such as brie or camembert) rind removed
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • 2 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1 tablespoon (about 6) finely chopped pickled pearl onions


  1. 1.

    In a bowl combine grated cheese, soft cheese, marmalade, butter, and pearl onions. Mix with a rubber spatula until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Spoon mixture onto a long piece of plastic wrap, then gently form into a tube so that the mixture is fully enclosed in the plastic wrap. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to a few days. Slice the ploughman pâté and serve with toast and some lightly dressed watercress.