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Sore head? 10 easy, comforting dishes to banish a hangover – chosen by chefs


Mac and cheese

Monica Galetti, Masterchef judge and chef proprietor of Mere, London

I always go for something like mac and cheese if I’m hungover. Pasta is great for soaking everything up. I put together a cheesy bechamel sauce and add bacon lardons to the pasta too. I like to have lots of cheese – once it goes in the oven I sprinkle even more on top. It’s a nice, easy dish to knock up when you don’t have much energy and my daughter loves it too! In my younger days, I would also swear by drinking tomato juice – not a bloody mary, just pure tomato juice.

Spicy chorizo eggs

Spicy chorizo sausage with fried egg and baby potatoes.
Photograph: kabVisio/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sat Bains, chef proprietor of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, Nottingham

It’s a few years since I was hungover, but my favourite thing to eat was always spicy chorizo eggs: simply saute chorizo until the oil comes out of the sausage, then crack two eggs on top. It’s got grease, it’s got spice, and I’d usually top it with sriracha sauce and fresh coriander. If I was staying in a hotel, I’d order a bloody mary. I like them to have lots of spices – celery salt, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce – and you can add sriracha here too. It gives it an incredible kick.

Salted pork rib congee

Rice congee with pock meat
Photograph: SherSor/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Erchen Chang, founder and creative director of Bao, London

I like going to Bruno’s on Wardour Street, in Soho – it’s great for people-watching – and having a full English breakfast with a really big cup of tea. For me, that’s one sausage, lots of beans, definitely an egg, sometimes hash browns, but always bread and butter. I only recently started drinking coffee, but if I’m hungover I’ll stick to tea. If I’m at home, I’d probably put on a congee – if you have a rice cooker, it’s very easy. It’s quite plain but still tasty and very comforting. I like a lot of ginger in my congee and salted pork rib is an all-time classic for flavour.

A roast dinner

Andi Oliver, broadcaster and chef-owner at Wadadli Kitchen, London

When I’m really hungover, I make pie. Anything with pastry – you need fats. There’s nothing worse than when you order bacon and eggs and you’re hungover, and they bring you back bacon – so disappointing. You want it fatty and crispy! Sometimes eggs can take you in the wrong direction, but a steamed pudding can be good. Obviously a roast dinner is really pretty great at about 3pm – you want Yorkshire puddings, extra roasties and enormous amounts of gravy. I’d have it with a shandy or a spritzer – or I used to make a drink with almond milk, coffee, rum and maple syrup over ice, and that was really fantastic.

Dirty rice

Vegetable biryani rice topped with fried egg
Photograph: Marie Martin/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Harneet Baweja, co-founder of Gunpowder, London

On a hangover, I’ll eat “dirty rice” – reheating leftover biryani and topping it with a fried egg. You’ve got to have a little bit of chilli on it too, to help sweat out the alcohol. It’s that or a bun kebab sandwich. I’m a tea drinker – nothing beats a good assam or darjeeling tea. That said, if I want to be “proper” and leave the house, I like to go to a tiny place called Shreeji Newsagents on Chiltern Street, Marylebone – they do coffee and a fantastic pain au chocolat. You wear shades and a heavy coat, so no one can see you’re still in pyjamas.

Steak and eggs

Steak and eggs.
Photograph: rebeccafondren/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Andrew D’Ambrosi, chef at D’Ambrosi Fine Foods, Stow-on-the-Wold, the Cotswolds

Steak and eggs are my hangover go-to. I have it with A1 Sauce – which isn’t big in the UK, so I keep a stash of it. To cook my steak, I get a pan smoking hot, season the steak generously on both sides and once it starts to brown, I turn the heat right down and allow a crust to form. If my butcher gives me a cut with extra fat, I like to slice it off, render the fat in a pan and use it as my cooking oil for the steak. I serve it with two fried eggs and a cup of coffee – I’m not a hair of the dog person.

A McNugget BLT

James Cochran, chef proprietor of 12:51, London

I make my notorious McNugget BLT, every time. You’ll need six chicken nuggets (preferably from McDonald’s) and while you’re waiting for them to be delivered – because, let’s be honest, you’re not leaving the house – get two slices of cheap bread buttered (Warburton’s gets my vote), fry up some bacon, slice tomatoes, shred lettuce, and use to construct your sandwich, along with a good splodge of mayo and a crack of black pepper. When your nuggets arrive, crush them in there with all that BLT goodness and enjoy.

Coffee with Campari

Jacob Kennedy, chef patron of Bocca di Lupo, London

When I was working at Moro, we would order a round of fried egg and bacon sandwiches from the greasy spoon across the road, open them up, and add in a drop of our harissa. I’ve always liked spicy foods for a hangover, although the only thing that really helps is drinking more. I live above a pub, so I’d probably go for a Sandford Orchards Devon Mist cider, which is delicious. My ex-head chef introduced me to a drink which we call an Albertino – a corretto coffee [espresso with added alcohol] with a shot of Campari in it. Every Italian I’ve described it to looks at me aghast – but when they try it they’re like: “That’s really good!”

A focaccia sandwich

White Roman focaccia with rosemary and coarse salt accompanied with slices of mortadella.
Photograph: Tigrom/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Anna Barnett, chef, food writer and host of The Filling podcast

I am obsessed with sandwiches, and the St John focaccia, specifically. They do something that makes the bread extra crunchy and light, with rosemary going through it, lots of olive oil and little heaps of salt. On a hangover, I’d fill it with an amazing mortadella, layered with melted taleggio, tomato chutney and, potentially, Torres black truffle crisps for crunch. I would really get serious about it; you can tell so much about someone by their sandwich preferences. To drink, I’d want a pint of sparkling water with three limes squeezed into it and loads of ice – that’s my go-to.

A fried egg butty

Fried egg sandwich.
Photograph: Graham Franks/Alamy

Tom Brown, chef-owner of Cornerstone, London

It’s very simple – and depending on how hard you’ve gone I’m not promising miracles – but a fried egg butty is my go-to. I use thick white Hovis – not toasted, you want it soft – and put three (yes, three) eggs into a hot pan of veg oil. Don’t flip them but make sure the white is cooked through and you have a golden crispy bottom. Season with salt and pepper, then put your eggs between slices of the generously buttered bread – the yolk is the only sauce you need. If you’re really suffering, wash it all down with a Camden Hells lager.



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