Some people think that the quintessential British meal is the roast dinner. Some people think it’s a curry, or even high tea. They’re all wrong; it’s a chip butty.
Just to clarify: “butty” is a shortened form of “…and butter sandwich”, so this is buttered sandwich made from “fries”. I know this can be a confusing concept to those outside the UK.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a British person under 40 who hasn’t enjoyed a horribly fattening chip butty at 2.30am some rainy morning when they’ve just poured themselves out of a drinking establishment. Not only are they phenomenally tasty when done right, they’re also a good idea: chip butties help avoid hangovers, as both the chips and the bread soak up the alcohol in your stomach. Ask any British person. There may be no evidence for it but it is scientific fact.
The only problem is that they’re also horribly unhealthy for you, as the chips are deep fried in fat, and they’re also not vegan, as the bread is always buttered.
Thankfully, this recipe is a little healthier and inclusive; the potatoes are wedges rather than thin, fat-heavy chips, they’re baked, the butter is soy, and the bread is good-quality wholewheat rather than crappy white non-bread. And it’s still as tasty as the artery-clogging version.
You could call this a gourmet butty – in fact, I will.
4 slices good quality wholewheat bread
12-14 baby potatoes
soy butter / vegan margarine
good quality BBQ sauce / ketchup
eggplant spread or similar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Leave the skin on the potatoes and chop them in half longways
Cut each half into 3 wedges
Take a ziplock bag and fill it with wedges
Drizzle olive oil into the bag along with salt and pepper and close it, squishing the bag so the wedges end up covered
Repeat until all wedges are done then place into the oven
Bake for 20-30 minutes until crispy
Spread a thin layer of soy butter / vegan margarine on one side of all the bread slices
Spread a thin layer of eggplant spread (or whatever you're using) on 2 of those slices, on top of the butter / margarine
Place the slices with the spread on the plate and top with half of the wedges, allowing some to spill out onto the plate
Drizzle the BBQ / ketchup on top of the fries, then top each butty with the final slice
Now, this brings up a whole other debate: should one squish the sandwich before attempting to eat or should one struggle with the enormity of the thing with no help? Personally, I'm a squisher.
Disclaimer: this is not something you want to eat every day. However, a little bit of what you want does you good, and this is infinitely less bad for you than your standard chip shop butty...and don't get me wrong. This tastes amazing. Just not every day.