Food & Drink

The Kings Arms - North Duffield

The Kings Arms - North DuffieldThe Kings Arms in located in the heart of the village of North Duffield by the village green, just off the  A163 between Skipwith and Budwith.

In addition to the great traditional pub atmosphere at the bar, they have a comfortable conservatory which seats 32. The Kings Arms can accommodate parties of up to 90 dining guests and are pleased to cater for family functions such as weddings and christenings etc.

Their home cooked menu is available here. There are also have daily specials and a Sunday carvery from 12 to 5pm. You can book your table for larger parties by clicking here. There are also regular events throughout the year. Details can be found here.

It’s great to find a traditional village pub thriving in times when all we seem to hear is bad news about the pub industry. Village pubs should be seen as the heart of the community and supported in their pivotal role. So next time you are in the area, call in for a pint and a bite to eat. Mark and his staff will offer you a very warm welcome…

The Kings Arms, Main Street, North Duffield, Selby. North Yorkshire. YO8 5RG

01757 288492

The Origins of Christmas Pudding

The Origins of Christmas PuddingChristmas, or Plum Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is nothing like the original.......

Christmas pudding originated as a 14th century porridge called 'frumenty' that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavour with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650. In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.

Over the years, many superstitions have surrounded Christmas Puddings. One superstition says that the pudding should be made with 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and His Disciples and that every member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, in honour of the Wise Men.

The Sunday before Advent Sunday is sometimes know as 'Stir-up Sunday'. This is because opening words of the Collect for the day (the main prayer) in the Book of Common Prayer of 1549 said:-

"Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

During Victorian times, puddings in big and rich houses were often cooked in fancy moulds, similar to jelly moulds. These were often in the shapes of towers or castles. Normal people just had puddings in the shape of balls. If the pudding was a bit heavy, they were called cannonballs!


Real Traditional Mince Pies

Real Tradition Mince Pie RecipeYou know those ‘Traditional Mince Pies’ we all see in the supermarkets at this time of year? There should be a trading standards case against anybody who has the audacity to use the word Traditional in relation to the mince pies presently on offer! Below is a real traditional recipe from “The English Housewife” published in 1615. Not a great deal of comparison to the icing sugar dusted mass-manufactured oddities in aluminium foil cases, I think you’ll agree:-

“Take a Legge of Mutton, and cut the best of the flesh from the bone, and parboyl it well then put to it three pound of the best Mutton suet & shred it very small; then spread it abroad, and fashion it with Salt Cloves and Mace: then put in good store of Currants, great Raisins and Prunes clean washed and picked a few Dates sliced, and some Orenge-pils sliced ; then being all well mixt together, put it into a coffin, or into divers coffins, and so bake them and when they are served up, open the lids and strow store of Sugar on the top of the meat and upon the lid. And in this sort you may also bake Beef or Veal, onely the Beef would not be parboyld, and the Veal will ask a double quantity of Suet."

From Gervase Markham The English Housewife, (London: 1615)

A coffin isn’t the wooden box you to granny to rest in. It’s a pastry case!

Bacon Badger

Buckinghamshire bacon badger recipeBadger, surely not! Bacon Badger its a traditional recipe from Buckinghamshire which we've borrowed and enhanced slightly. Named after the appearance of the large stuffed roll, suffice it to say that no real badgers are harmed during the preparation of this recipe.


The Pastry

225 Grams Self raising flour

1 pinch Salt and freshly milled black pepper

100 Grams Suet 

1 heaped tbsp Fresh parsley Chopped

8 tbsps Cold water

For the filling

1 large Badger – Joking!

400 Grams Gammon Cubed

1 large White onion Cubed

1 large Potato Cubed

2 cloves of garlic crushed

6 Handfuls Fresh sage leaves Chopped

1 handful Fresh parsley Chopped

1 pinch Black mustard seeds crushed


(1) To make the suet pastry, simply sift the flour and salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl. Add the suet and chopped parsley and adding the water bring it all together to form a nice dough.  Cover and chill.

(2) In a large roasting tin, add diced gammon, onions, potato, garlic, the freshly chopped herbs and the crushed black mustard seeds, combine. Roast in a moderate oven for 30 minutes, remove and cool slightly.

(3) Onto a well floured worktop roll out the pastry into a generous rectangle.  Fill with the mixture, wetting the edges with water, roll up like a large pasty and seal together. Place a tea towel on the worktop and onto that place a sheet of foil with a sheet of buttered greaseproof paper on top and place your badger in the middle.  Roll it all up and tie the ends with string.

(4) Steam for 1 hrs 30 mins over a pan of boiling water. Then remove tea towel and open foil and grease proof to reveal the feast.  Finish off by baking at 180c, to give the pastry a golden crust, for 20 mins.

Strange Sunday Lunches - Iceland - Hákarl

Northern Living Strange Sunday Lunches From around the world Iceland - HákarlHákarl is a food from Iceland. It is a Greenland or basking shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for 4-5 months. Hákarl has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste. It is, quite literally, rotten shark meat. It was traditionally served during the mid-winter festivities know as  Thorrablot but people visiting Iceland as tourists are often presented with Hákarl as a Sunday lunch offering. This may indicate that the Icelander either have a very mischievous sense of humour, or they are simply inhospitable and are determined to persuade visitors not to return!!!!


(1) Wash and gut your shark.

(2) Bury the shark in gravel. Mark the location with a pile on stones. Unearth it six to eight weeks later.

(3) Allow the shark to cure in the open air for another two months. 

(4) Cut off the thick brown crust which has grown around the shark. The remaining slab of flesh should smell somewhat like ammonia.

(5) Eat the white flesh inside, along with a drink of Brennivín, an aquavit-like schnapps flavored with caraway.



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