The classic ploughman's lunch is a tasty cold platter consisting of ham, cheese, pickles and bread. Serve it as an appetiser, grazing board or cold lunch.
Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.
Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.
Arrange the bread, turkey, ham, cucumbers, cheddar cheese, pickled onions, celery, radish, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggs on a serving platter. Serve with chutney.
So what is ploughman’s lunch, you may ask? The ultimate cold lunch, the Ploughman’s lunch has been popular on pub menus across the UK for many years and has made its way across to Australia. Sometimes known as a ploughman's lunch platter, the lunch favourite consisting of ham, cheese, pickled onions and more is balanced enough for a solo lunch but are also perfect for sharing.
The classic cold lunch has humble origins from the English countryside, where it was often packed for farmers (aka ploughmen) to take out into the fields. When working long days on the land, men would need to take lunch to sustain them. The bread, cheese, pickles and ham would keep well until lunchtime and didn’t need to be warmed up before eating. After World War Two rations were lifted in England, to boost production the ‘Cheese Bureau’ promoted the recipe for Ploughman's lunch to encourage pubs across the country to put their own spin on the original.
The standard ingredients for a ploughman’s lunch usually start with a good crusty bread as the base. You can use a cob loaf, baguette or an artisan sourdough loaf if you prefer. The bread gives you a good solid foundation to add all of your elements and is a tasty source of carbohydrates to keep you satisfied all day.
Next you want a good-quality semi-hard or hard cheese – traditionally sharp vintage cheddar, Lancashire or Stilton – and a basic lunch meat to round it out. Most commonly you’ll find a baked ham cut into thick slices, though you could also serve it with silverside or turkey slices if you like. The modern ploughman's lunch may also include extra protein like a hard-boiled egg, Scotch egg, pork pie or sausage roll.
What gives the classic ploughman's lunch its authentic flavour are the added extras and condiments. These include brown pickled relish, tomato chutney or mustard, a few pickled onions or gherkins and crisp slices of apple along with fresh salad veggies such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and radish.
Creating a ploughman's lunch board is perfect for using up leftovers from Christmas lunch, from the leftover roast turkey, sliced ham and salad leftovers to the extra cob loaf you bought just in case. It’s also a great excuse to open up that jar of homemade chutney you were gifted from a cousin or neighbour.
One of the benefits of this simple meal is that it’s so easy to throw together – just put all of the ingredients on your favourite platter or serving board. It’s up to you whether you want to arrange them artfully or go for a more rustic look.
A ploughman's lunch is suitable for almost any occasion. Originating as a farmer’s packed lunch, it’s ideal for taking along to a picnic in the park or for serving as a grazing board at your next party.