Bread and dripping is a time honored British favorite that makes the most of tasty meat drippings coupled with chunks of crusty bread. Sometimes referred to as a mucky sandwich, it once enjoyed a great deal of popularity in local pubs as well as in the home. In recent years, the dish has lost ground to more healthy alternatives, but it is still possible to find pubs that serve platters of thick slices of bread and dripping along with hearty British ales.
Generally, the drippings are the leftover animal fat from the preparation of beef or pork. It is not unusual for the dish to include some small pieces of meat as well. The dripping is allowed to cool, so that the texture is the consistency of a think jelly. Once sufficiently gelled, the dripping is spread with a knife onto a slice of homemade bread and served at room temperature.
Some fans choose to add more salt to the already salty concoction, giving the dish a little extra bite, while others prefer ample amounts of black pepper as a topping. In general, any desired spice can be used to add another dimension of flavor to the dish. This is especially true when the dish is prepared in the home and served as a breakfast food.
While a time-honored favorite, bread and dripping is loaded with fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates. In recent years, people who love the concept, but who are trying to manage intake of these elements, have chosen to omit the use of animal fat in the dish. Substitutes like peanut or olive oil, with a few spices added, have become the norm in some pubs around the United Kingdom, making it possible to at least cut a fair amount of the cholesterol and fat from this accompaniment to a pint or a stiff shot of whiskey.