The Lowdown: Fast food fakeaways and restaurant recreations

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: fakeaways and recreations of McDonald's, Greggs and Pizza Express dishes

Related tags: Fast food, Restaurant, Recipe, Coronavirus

With restaurants expected to be closed for the foreseeable future, chefs and operators have begun publishing recipe tutorials showing how to make some of their signature dishes at home.

Brilliant! Finally we can find out just what those 11 herbs and spices are…
Alas, we’re sorry to say KFC is yet to give up its greatest secret. And with the fried chicken giant beginning to reopen a select number of sites across the UK, we suspect we won’t be finding out what it is anytime soon. But, many other chains have begun offering up recipes to some of their most beloved dishes.

Any examples?
Perhaps the most high profile operator to release one is fast food stalwart McDonald’s, which has shared the recipe for its iconic sausage and egg McMuffin​. It features (get this) a sausage patty; eggs; a toasted muffin; and some ‘American-style’ cheese.

Hmm, hardly sounds groundbreaking…
That’s true, but right now we’ll take what we can get. For those looking for more of a cookery challenge, there are some more complex recipes to choose from.

Such as?
If you're someone who enjoys a bit of baking (and presumably doesn't live close to an Iceland supermarket), Greggs​ has released DIY tutorials on its Instagram page showing people how to make its legendary steak bake; and sausage, bean and cheese melt. As well as putting together two recipe ebooks for sale, Bread Ahead​ has shared video guides on how to make a number of its most popular products including doughnuts; cinnamon buns; and focaccia. Pret​ has published recipes for both its classic chocolate chip cookie; and its vegan dark chocolate and almond butter cookie. And PizzaExpress has revealed the recipe for its dough balls and garlic butter​, which does frankly feel a little more underwhelming given you can still buy them in most major supermarkets. 

Sounds like there’s something for everyone. What about if I wanted to make something a bit more cheffy?
Well, as you’ve no doubt noticed, many chefs have been using some of their downtime to post recipe videos, with Tom Kerridge​'s Lockdown Dinners; and Jason Atherton​'s Social kitchen isolation both proving popular. Wagamama​ has shared recipes for its katsu curry; wok-fried greens; and yasai yaki soba. Meanwhile, the Evening Standard​ has begun running a Restaurant Recreations column​, which so far features recipes for Tom Brown’s Cornerstone crumpet; and Bentley's famous fish pie.

Lots to be getting on with then. And after I’ve cooked all of these I can post pictures of them on social media
Indeed, that’s what everyone else seems to be doing. A word to the wise though, should you decide to try and crack the KFC secret and make your own Kentucky fried chicken, make sure it definitely looks the part. The hashtag RateMyKFC has been particularly popular on Twitter, with the KFC social media team offering their verdict on people’s attempts to replicate the brand’s signature wings, burgers and popcorn chicken pieces. And let’s just say that they often come from the Gordon Ramsay school of culinary criticism​. 

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