I spent many a lunch in the UK looking for a ploughman’s lunch that would satisfy a teenage boy with a penchant for exercise. Most were small and ordinary. A real ploughman’s should have meat, cheese and plenty of bread.




Skill level

Average: 3.5 (66 votes)


  • 2 slices classic smoked ham
  • 1–2 hard-boiled eggs (or use pickled eggs if you have them)
  • tomatoes
  • 1 slice brawn
  • 3 chunks sourdough bread
  • 25 g cultured butter
  • 2 pickled onions, cut or sliced if you like
  • another pickle, such as pickled pear, or a relish
  • 100 g good quality cloth-bound cheddar
  • mustard
  • radishes, if you have them
  • cider or pale ale, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Simply choose the best quality ingredients and arrange them on a large plate or rustic chopping board. Serve with cider or a pale ale.