23 March 2022

Out Now: The Official Peaky Blinders Cookbook. Food photography by Jamie Orlando Smith

Welcome to the Peaky Blinders Cookbook, a culinary voyage into the rags-to-riches tale of Tommy Shelby and his gangter clan From the kitchen table at Watery Lane to the grand dining hall at Arrow House, via The Garrison, the Epsom Derby and the Eden Club, your invitation to eat with the Peaky Blinders awaits.

Food during the interwar years was an interesting combination of post-war thriftiness and heady decadence. Ingredients that today we might consider luxury or specialist, such as oysters, were far more commonplace than they are now. Chicken, on the other hand, a humble Sunday lunch staple in 21st-century Britain, used to be a sophisticated addition to the dinner table. Rabbit, pigeon and other game, along with herbs, mushrooms and berries, which were easily hunted or foraged, filled plates and stomachs even for the lower classes. Generally, meat featured heavily in the diets of 1920s Britons – and for obvious reasons, nothing was wasted. Once post-war rationing ended in 1920, sugar and flour, along with butter, milk and other diary gradually became more available again – satisfying sweets tooths in cakes, pastries, jellies and puddings.

All the while, among the upper class at lease, a hedonistic sense of freedom from the horrors of war took hold. Champagne and gin cocktails flowed, and canapés and fine foods became a marker of higher social class. It’s agains this backdrop to the story of the Peaky Blinders the the recipes in this book draw you deeper into the Shelby’s world. This is a collection of dishes inspired by those likely to have been on the table at each stage in Tommy’s social climb from Watery Lane to Arrow House. Each has been modernized for today’s palates, but is rooted firmly in the era of your favourite series.