Here you can find a collection of recipes from the smaller, mainly independent local government islands, many of which (but not all) are known as The British Islands.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the Islands of Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state is the British Monarch, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The island is not part of the United Kingdom, but its foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the UK Government.
The Isle of Wight is a county in its own right, and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, 3–5 miles (5–8 km) off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent. The island is known for its natural beauty, its sailing based at the town of Cowes, and its resorts, which have been holiday destinations since Victorian times.
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey, neither of which is part of the United Kingdom; rather they are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy.
These are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within the families who have lived and worked on The Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands, many dating from the 1800s. All the recipes below are the original ones from Regional Recipe Books published in the late 1800s or early 1900s, with the weights and measurements adjusted for the modern kitchen.
MOLLAG / MANX HAGGIS (I.O.M.)
2 lb (1kg) potatoes, 1 lb (500g) onions, 1/2 lb (250g) liver, 1/2 lb (250g) leaf lard, 1/4 lb (125g) groats, seasoning, one pig’s stomach.
Stew liver and mince. Dice the potatoes and onions, render leaf lard and use the crackling. Add gravy from the liver, groats, seasoning and mix all together. Prepare the pig’s stomach, fill, and sew up and boil for 4 hours. What I had was cut from the cold mollag. I sliced it and fried it – delicious.
1 lb (500g) plain flour, 1/2 lb (250g) lard. 1/2 lb (250g) brown sugar, 1 lb (500g) sultanas, 1 lb (500g) currants 1/2 lb (250g) raisins, 2 oz (60g) mixed peel, 1/2 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda, 1 tablespoonful black treacle, 2 cupfuls (480ml) buttermilk.
Rub fat into flour, sugar and spices. Add fruit and mix with buttermilk. Bake in a moderate oven. This makes two 1 lb bunloaves.
MANX BROTH (I.O.M.)
2 0z (60g) pearl barley, ½ lb (250g) shin beef, 1 lb (500g) marrow bones, 1 tsp sea-salt, ½ small turnip, 1 carrot, 1 parsnip, 1 leek, 2 stalks celery, a sprig of thyme, a sprig of parsley, seasoning.
Put the pearl barley into a bowl to soak overnight, covered in a little water. Next day dice the meat and place with the marrow bones in 2 pints (1.2 litres) water and the salt. Bring up to the boil and simmer gently for 1 ½ hours (90 minutes). Meanwhile prepare all the vegetables and dice them quite small. Add to the meat broth, with the soaked pearl barley, and top up with more water. Add the thyme and parsley and simmer until the vegetables are tender (30 min approx). Taste and adjust the seasoning, take out the marrow bones, the thyme and parsley sprigs and serve in soup or broth bowls.
CABBAGE SOUP (I.O.M.)
2 oz (60g) split peas, 8 oz (240g) streaky bacon, knob of butter, 2 pints (1.2 Litres) boiling water, 1 white cabbage, 1 large onion, 1 large carrot, 2 sticks of celery, sea-salt, pepper. Optional, some grated hard cheese, slices of bread to toast.
Put the split peas in a bowl to soak overnight. Next day remove the rind from the bacon and cut into small pieces. Fry them gently in a tall saucepan, in a little butter, until the fat starts to run. Prepare the onion, carrot and celery, dice them small, and fry gently in the bacon fat and butter for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, chopped small, the soaked peas (with the water) salt and pepper to season. Add the boiling water and simmer gently for 2 hours with a lid on. Taste and adjust the seasoning at the end, then serve. Optional: pour over toasted bread slices in a soup plate and add some grated hard cheese.
GRILLED HERRINGS WITH PARSNIPS (I.O.M.)
4 herrings, 4 parsnips, 1 beaten egg, 2 oz (60g) breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, salt and pepper to season.
Cut off the heads, scale and clean the herrings, wash and pat dry. Make three cuts about an inch (2.5cm) apart on each side of the herrings, cutting down to the bone. Dot the herrings with a little butter and grill them under a very hot grill until crisp and brown – give each side 3 minutes. Clean and trim the parsnips, cut the parsnips lengthwise then into quarters. Brush over a little beaten egg and coat them in breadcrumbs. Fry the coated breadcrumbs in the butter and vegetable oil in a hot frying pan – until golden and tender. Serve the parsnips with the herrings and garnish with the chopped parsley.
MANX KIPPERS (I.O.M.)
Part of the herring catch from Isle of Man fishing boats was traditionally turned into the famous Manx Kipper. The process of curing is simple, the herrings are split, cleaned, washed and put to soak in highly salted water – after soaking each herring is hung up and smoked over wood shavings. At no point is any food colouring or food dye introduced, keeping the kipper silvery brown instead of mahogany. Properly smoked Manx Kippers are often sliced thin and eaten raw, with lemon juice and brown bread and butter. Often for breakfast they are grilled with a dab of butter and crisped up and eaten with fried tomatoes.
MANX KIPPER SALAD (I.O.M.)
Salad: 6 good sized Manx Kipper fillets, ½ lb (250g) new potatoes, 2 tomatoes (quartered) 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 lettuce hearts. For The Dressing: 3 tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp grated onion, 1 tsp English mustard, salt and black pepper to season.
Place the kipper fillets in a bowl and pour over boiling hot water to cover. Leave until nearly cold (1 hour) – drain, then tear or slice the fillets into strips and place into a bowl. Put all of the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar and shake vigorously, then leave. Cook the potatoes, cut them into cubes when still warm, then mix them with the Manx Kipper strips. Open a large lettuce leaf, place this onto a plate, and into this leaf place some of the kippers and potatoes. Sprinkle over some broken up hard-boiled egg and a few tomato quarters. Shake over a little of the dressing and serve.
BAKED COD WITH BACON (I.O.M.)
2 thick cod fillets, 10 rashers of streaky bacon, 1 oz (30g) butter, sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper to season, handful of parsley (chopped fine).
Cut off the rinds of the bacon, discard, cut the rest of the streaky bacon up into small pieces. In an oven proof dish place half of the bacon on the base, then lay in the cod fillets. Sprinkle over salt and pepper to season, then cover over with the rest of the bacon. Sprinkle over a little more pepper and dot over the butter in places. Bake uncovered in an oven at 375F (190C) for 35 minutes. Strain off the liquid into a bowl, and add in the chopped parsley to serve over the fish.
MANX SODA BREAD (I.O.M.)
Much of the risen breads, cakes and scones in the Isle of Man use a combination of bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, and buttermilk.
8 oz (225g) white flour, 8 oz (225g) wholemeal flour, ½ tsp sea-salt, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 oz (30g) sugar, a little buttermilk to bind.
In a mixing bowl sieve together the white flour, salt, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda – then add in the wholemeal flour and sugar. Gently mix everything together, evenly, then add just enough buttermilk, gradually, to make a light bread dough. Knead it gently until silky and smooth. Press the dough into a greased loaf tin, leave for ten minutes then bake in a hot pre-heated oven at 425F (220C) for about 45 minutes.
BRAISED RUMP STEAK (I.O.M.)
1 lb (500g) rump steak, 10 slices streaky bacon, 2 onions (peeled and sliced), 2 tomatoes, (sliced).
In an oven-proof dish lay half the streaky bacon slices, then add the steak, cover with onion and tomato slices. Cover the dish and bake in an oven for 4 hours on a low heat 250F (130C) – this long cooking time will make the steak very tender. Serve with new potatoes.
MUTTON HOT-POT (I.O.M.)
2lb (1Kg) middle neck mutton (or lamb chops), pepper and salt to season, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tsp dried thyme, 2 large onions (peeled and sliced), 2 lb (1Kg) potatoes (peeled and sliced into thick rounds), 1 pint (600ml) of beef stock.
Cut the mutton (or chops) into large cubes. On a plate sprinkle over the flour, dried thyme, salt and black pepper, then coat the meat in this flour all over. Peel and slice the potatoes and onions – put half of the potato and onion slices into the bottom of a deep casserole dish – then add the meat – cover with the rest of the onions and potatoes. Season the casserole then pour in the beef stock. Cover the casserole dish and place in an oven at 325F (170C) for 2 hours (120 minutes). For the last 20 minutes remove the casserole dish lid to brown the top layers.
MANX RABBIT (I.O.M.)
2 lb (1KG) of rabbit (jointed), 10 rashers of streaky bacon, 4 oz (115g) dry, fine breadcrumbs, 1 onion (peeled and chopped fine), 1 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tbsp chopped thyme, 1 tbsp butter, salt and pepper, ½ pint (300ml) milk.
In a bowl mix thoroughly together the breadcrumbs, onion, herbs and seasoning (make sure everything is cut or grated fine). Cut the rabbit meat off the bone into small strips. Butter the base of a heat-proof oven dish, sprinkle in a thin layer of breadcrumbs. Fill with alternate layers of rabbit meat and breadcrumbs. Cover over the top with the streaky bacon rashers, then pour in the milk. Cover the dish and bake in an oven at 325F (170C) for 2 hours, add in a little more milk at the end if needed and uncover the dish for the last 20 minutes to brown the top layer.
RABBIT & SAUSAGE STEW (I.O.M.)
2 lb (1Kg) rabbit (jointed), 1 lb (500g) pork sausages (cut into quarters), ½ lb potatoes (sliced into medium thick rounds) ½ lb (250g) carrots (finely sliced in thin rounds), ½ pint (300ml) milk, ½ pint (300ml) chicken stock, salt and pepper to season, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tbsp chopped thyme.
In a large saucepan (or casserole dish) layer the rabbit joints, sausages, potatoes and carrots – season each layer with the herbs and spices. Add the milk and chicken stock. Cover and cook on a gentle simmer for 2 hours on the hob, or in the oven for 2 hours at 325F (170C). Blend the flour with a little water and stir into the casserole after two hours, cook for a further ½ hour (30 minutes) uncovered.
CUP PUDDING (I.O.M.)
This dessert is so called because all the main ingredients are all weight out with a tea cup – equal measures go into the mixing bowl to make the batter for the steamed pudding.
1 teacupful of the following: flour, shredded suet, fine-dry breadcrumbs, mixed dried fruit, honey, milk. Also 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda into the milk and then in a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients together. Beat thoroughly with a spoon so that everything is mixed without lumps. Spoon the batter into a small greased pudding basin. Cover with baking parchment and foil, tie off with string, and steam for 3 hours. Serve with warmed, runny honey (and custard if preferred).
APPLE & HONEY SPONGE (I.O.M.)
2 lb (1Kg) apples, 4 tbsp honey, 4 oz (115g) butter, 2 oz (60g) sugar, 2 eggs, 4 oz (115g) self-raising flour, pinch salt
Peel and core the apples, slice, and stew in a saucepan gently with 2 tablespoons of honey for 7 minutes. In a buttered pie dish or tart tin lay the stewed apples evenly over the base. In a small mixing bowl beat together (cream) the butter and sugar, then the remaining two tablespoons of honey, until white and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour and salt. Pour this batter over the apples in the dish. Bake in an oven at 350F (180C) for 25 minutes. Serve with cream.
SODA BONNAGS (I.O.M.)
8 oz (225g) flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 2 oz (60g) butter, ½ pint (150ml) buttermilk.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl. Rub in the softened butter with your finger-tips, until a breadcrumb like consistency in the flour is made. Add the buttermilk and mix into a light dough – knead this dough until smooth and silky (add extra flour if needed to stop it being sticky). Flatten out the dough to an inch (2.5 cm) thick. Using a pastry cutter cut out small rounds and place them on a buttered baking sheet or tray. Bake in a hot oven at 425F (220C) for about 10 minutes, until the scones are well-risen. Remove from the oven and when still warm split them in half and serve with butter (or cream) and jam.
SODA CAKE (I.O.M.)
1 lb (500g) flour, pinch of sea-salt, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 oz (30g) butter, 4 oz (115g) currants, 4 oz (115g) caster sugar, ½ pint (300ml) buttermilk.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl. Rub in the softened butter with your finger-tips, until a breadcrumb like consistency in the flour is made. Mix in the currants and sugar then add the buttermilk and mix into a light dough – knead this dough until smooth and silky (add extra flour if needed to stop it being sticky). Flatten out the dough to just over an inch (3 cm) thick, square it up, and place it on a buttered baking sheet or tray. Bake in an oven at 350F (180C) for about 35 minutes, until well-risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve with thick cream and a little jam.
CINNAMON FRUIT LOAF (I.O.M.)
12 oz (340g) flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 6 oz (170g) butter, 4 oz (115g) sugar, 12 oz (340g) mixed dried fruit, 4 oz (115g) chopped candied peel, 1 tbsp golden syrup (corn syrup), ½ pint (300ml) buttermilk.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Rub in the softened butter with your finger-tips, until a breadcrumb like consistency in the flour is made. Mix in the sugar, dried fruit and candied peel. Stir in the golden syrup (corn syrup) then the buttermilk, and beat well into a loose batter. Spoon into a greased loaf tin and bake at 350F (180C) for 1 and ½ hours (90 minutes) or a little longer until done.
MANX SLIM CAKES (I.O.M.)
These are thin, oblong (rectangle) shaped griddle cakes, very popular on the Isle of Man.
1 lb (500g) flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 4 oz (115g) lard, pinch sea-salt, 3 oz (85g) sugar, 3 oz (85g) currants, 1 egg, 1/3 pint (200ml) buttermilk.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl. Rub in the softened lard with your finger-tips, until a breadcrumb like consistency in the flour is made. Add the salt, sugar and currants, stirring them in. Mix in the beaten egg and enough buttermilk, gradually, to make a soft dough. Gently knead the dough until soft and silky. Roll out the dough thinly on a floured work-surface and cut out oblong (rectangle) shapes. Place them on a buttered griddle to cook (or large frying pan) – cook on each side for a few minutes. Place on a plate, sprinkle over sugar, and serve. A ground cinnamon and sugar mix is sometimes sprinkled over, or the slim cakes are served with a thin coating of jam.
TANROGANS & CHEESE SAUSE (I.O.M.)
Tanrogans are scallops, and this is a simple first course which is popular on the Island.
Scallops: 4 large scallops, ¼ pint (150ml) milk, 1 small onion (peeled and chopped), 1 bouquet garni (bag of herbs) salt and pepper to season. Cheese Sauce: 1 oz (30g) butter, 1 oz (30g) flour, ¼ pint (150ml) milk (reserved from the tanrogans), 3 oz (85g) grated Cheddar cheese. To Serve: ½ lb (250g) potatoes – boiled then mashed with 1 oz (30g) butter and 1 tbsp milk, chopped parsley.
Remove the tanrogans (scallops) from the shells, trim them, and put them in a pan with the milk, onion and boquet garni and seasoning. Simmer very gently for 7 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the tanrogans – make sure they are soft and tender. Clean, wash and drain the scallop shells. When the scallops are done strain everything out and reserve the milk. Cut the scallops into bite sized pieces and replace them into the cleaned shells. To make the mash peel, slice and boil the potatoes for twenty minutes, then mash with the butter and a little milk. Using a piping bag fill it with the mash and pipe an attractive border around the scallops in their shells. To make the sauce melt the butter in a small saucepan, blend in the flour and cook this out for a minute or two. Gradually add in the reserved milk on a low heat making sure there are no lumps. Bring the milk to a boil, reduce and stir all the time until it starts to thicken. Reduce the heat, season with salt and pepper and add in the grated cheese. Sir this until it is all melted, then remove from the heat. Spoon a little of this cheese sauce all over the tanrogans in their shells then bake under a hot grill or in the oven until golden brown. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and serve.
KIDNEY IN THE ONION (I.O.W.)
Take 4 big round onions, large enough to hold a sheep’s kidney. Peel them carefully and slice off the top of each for a lid. Hollow out the onions until the kidneys will go exactly into each and put the hollowings into a casserole. Place the onions, with kidney inside and lid on the top, carefully in the casserole, and put good stock in the casserole about halfway up the onions. Simmer for 2 hours. twenty minutes before the time is up pour in a glass of rum. The whole should be well cooked in 2 hours, with the kidneys soft enough to be eaten with a spoon.
VECTIS PUDDING (I.O.W.)
8 oz (225g) S.R. Flour, pinch salt, 3 oz (85g) fat, 3 tablespoonfuls water, 2 oz (60g) currants, a chopped apple, 1 big tablespoonful golden syrup, 2 oz (60g) sugar, grated rind of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 level teaspoonful mixed spice.
Sieve the flour and salt, rub in the fat, Add the cold water to form a stiff dough. Roll out thinly and spread with a mixture of the apple, golden syrup. currants, sugar, spice and lemon. Damp along the sides and one end and roll up like a Swiss roll, closing the ends firmly. Wrap in a floured cloth and steam over fast boiling-water for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
GUERNSEY BEAN JAR
1 pig’s trotter or piece of shin beef 1lb (500g) small dried beans, 1 onion, parsley, salt to taste, meat stock.
Soak the beans overnight and then cook until tender. Strain Place all ingredients in a stone har or earthenware dish. Add 1 pint (600ml) slightly thickened stock, cover tightly and bake in a slow oven for 4 or 5 hours. Serve in same dish.
JERSEY CONGER SOUP
1-2 lb (500g-1kg) conger eel, 2 shallots, 1 cabbage, 1 pint (600ml glass) fresh garden peas, 1/2 (300ml) pint milk. 1 dessertspoonful flour, 1 dessertspoonful vinegar, 6 borage leaves, 12 marigold petals, salt and pepper, parsley, thyme, butter, lemon.
Wash the fish and put it in a saucepan with a quart of water, salt and pepper, parsley and thyme. Simmer for 30 or 40 minutes. Strain the liquid and put it into another saucepan. Wash and shred cabbage, chop the shallots and borage. Add these, with the peas, to the boiling liquid and cook till tender. Mix the flour with a little milk and thicken the soup with this and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the milk and a small piece of fresh butter, and serve the soup with the marigold petals floating on it. The conger can be eaten as a separate dish.