The glorious land of Wales: where we have branded leek and lamb, cockles and cawl, rarebit and bara brith the gems of our nation and our gift to the world. A land of baked cheese, creamy leeks and lamb stew is one that I am proud to call home. Here are a few of my favourite Welsh recipes: bara brith, lamb cawl, welsh cakes and rarebit. Tidy.
Bara brith by Mary Hamilton from The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best
450g/1lb dried mixed fruit
450g/1lb self-raising flour
1 free-range egg, beaten
In a large bowl soak the fruit and sugar in strained tea and leave overnight. Next day preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Mix the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture and beat well. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake the oven and bake for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Lamb cawl adapted from cookie2112 on BBC Good Food
900g lamb meat
3-4 chopped carrots
3 leeks chopped into chunks (keeping the greener end as this adds colour and flavour)
1 bay leaf
900g potatoes cut into big chunks
1 tbsp chopped parsley
10 black peppercorns
You can also use any fresh root vegetables that are in season.
Trim the meat of fat, cut into big chunks put in a deep pan with plenty of water, bring to the boil slowly and skim (throughout the cooking process you need to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the ingredients). Add the carrot, onions and swede. Bring back to the boil, add half tsp salt and the peppercorns, then the thyme and bay leaf bundled with string, and simmer gently for 2 hours. Add the potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the leeks and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve with garnish of parsley, warm, crusty, wholesome bread and Caerphilly cheese. The cawl will be fine to eat for 24hrs but is best eaten within 18hrs. If eating the next day you might need to add some water with lamb stock added to thin.
Welsh cakes from Delia Online
8oz/225g self-raising flour
4oz/110g butter or margarine
3oz/75g mixed fruit or sultanas
3oz/75g caster sugar
1 small egg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
To cook these you really need the traditional heavy, flat, iron pan (sometimes called a griddle or girdle). However, a good solid heavy frying pan, with a flat base, will do.
First, sift the dry ingredients together, then rub in the butter or margarine as you would if you were making pastry. Then, when the mixture becomes crumbly, add the fruit and mix it in thoroughly. Then beat the egg lightly and add it to the mixture. Mix to a dough and, if the mixture seems a little too dry, add just a spot of milk. Now transfer the dough on to a lightly floured working surface and roll it out to about ¼ inch (5 mm) thick.
Then, using a 2½-inch (6.5 cm) plain cutter, cut the dough into rounds, re-rolling the trimmings until all the dough is used. Next, lightly grease the thick heavy pan, using a piece of kitchen paper smeared with lard. Now heat the pan over a medium heat and cook the Welsh cakes for about 3 minutes each side. If they look as if they’re browning too quickly, turn the heat down a bit because it’s important to cook them through – but they should be fairly brown and crisp on the outside. Serve them warm, with lots of butter and home-made jam or perhaps some Welsh honey.
Rarebit recipe by The Cheese Society on BBC Good Food
400g grated farmhouse cheddar , or 2 x 200g quantities of cheddar and parmesan
175g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 heaped tsp English mustard powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (go for Lea & Perrin’s)
120ml ale, cider or Guinness (the last will give a stronger flavour)
1 egg, plus 1 yolk
6-8 slices, toasted crusty bread
Heat the milk in a pan, whisk in the flour and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble until slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to low and add the grated cheese. Stir briefly until melted, then add the breadcrumbs, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and your choice of alcohol. Cook, stirring, until the mixture starts to leave the side of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly
Put the mixture in a food processor and, with the motor running, add the eggs. Keep it running for about a minute, then season with ground black pepper. Spread onto the toast and grill until browned and golden.
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