I was brought up with a good staple diet which could best be described as 'plain but nice'. The BBC have come up with what it calls family favourites.
Chicken in creamy mushroom sauce
Fascinating. My mother never served up this dish.
This was never on the menu at home, however, I do have a recipe for liver stroganoff that I have learned to cook.
Irish Beef Stew
This is more like it. It may have not been the Irish variety but stew was a regular winter warmer.
Toad in the Hole
This is more like it. Mum produced wonderful Yorkshire puddings by utilising the fat from the beef roast which gave the puddings a crispy, meaty flavour so her 'toad' was excellent.
A frequent attender at Sunday lunch. It was also the main at Christmas lunch as Mum and Dad didn't like turkey.
A common enough dish that mother never made in spite of insisting on fish every Friday. We usually had fish and chips from the chippy.
Chicken Tikka Masala
At no point in my 18 years at home did curry, or anything resembling spicy foreign food, appear on the table. When talking about standard meals they are not taking into account the passage of time. As there are many more people over the age of 65 in the country the BBC perhaps should reflect that in their choices of favourites.
Shepherd's (Cottage) Pie
A good old standard easy to make and also to enliven. There are things you can add to the gravy such as Henderson's Relish and beer. You can also vary the topping. I have made it with mashed carrot and swede, sweet and ordinary potatoes, and mashed cauliflower.
This is another very versatile meal. I believe that many such recipes came into being without clearly defined ingredients because after the 2nd World War there was a lot of scrimping and saving and so the recipe could well vary from week to week.
Red Lentil and Aubergine Moussaka
Never a family favourite in the north. Obviously some middle class, southern meal for those of a more delicate constitution.
The point is of course that you could knock on every door in any given street in England and be given as many different favourites as there are houses. My belief is that the favourite meals tend to be dictated by a number of factors.
Three of these are:
How much money is available.
What the children will eat.
What your mother used to make.
I think that there is nothing wrong in having a list of favourites and nor is there anything wrong in introducing variations or trying something new.