Tag Archives: Welsh

Cockles with Pancetta and Thyme

Cockles with Pancetta and Thyme
Cockles with Pancetta and Thyme
Image: http://www.greatbritishchefs.com

Living by the sea allows me to enjoy the freshest of bounty from it, and shellfish, especially is at it’s best when it bought fresh from a fish shop owned by a fisherman. The Cockles recipe is from Shaun Rankin and was devised for the Great British Menu. Although it’s bursting with a the flavours of the Mediterranian it harks back to my Welsh roots as I had the best cockles on the Gower Coast.

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 shallot, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 90g of cubed pancetta
  • 900g of cockles
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 300ml of white wine
  • 6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Freashly ground black pepper

Method

Thoroughly rinse the cockles before cooking, discarding any that are broken.

  1. Scrub well to remove any sand, mud or grit. If the shells are open, give them a light tap; if they do not close, discard
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frying pan and sauté the shallot and garlic over a medium heat for about 2 minutes until the shallots are soft and translucent but not coloured
  3. Add the pancetta cubes and fry for a further minute.
  4. Now add the cockles, thyme and finally the white wine. 
  5. Cover with a lid and steam w for 4 minutes or until the shells have fully opened
  6. Spoon the cockles into a serving dish and sprinkle the basil on the top. 
  7. Pour over the cooking juices and finish with black pepper.

Serve with some toasted focaccia (or a Gluten Free alternative)

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients listed are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Cawl

Welsh Cawl
Welsh Cawl

I was reading through a old recipe book, that was my Grandmothers, I came across a heavily annotated recipe for Cawl, which a Welsh version of the ubiquitous Irish Stew. The book is starting to fall apart and St David’s is almost upon us I’ve decided to publish the recipe up here. The flavour improves if you make it the day before hand.

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients

I’ve converted the Imperial Measurements in the book to metric for ease

  • 2lb (1kg) neck of lamb (on the bone), preferably Welsh, cut into serving pieces
  • 3 pints (2ltrs) lamb stock
  • 8oz (225g) potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8oz (225g) onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8oz (225g) leeks, trimmed and sliced into ½in (1cm) slices
  • 8oz (225g) carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8oz (225g) swede, peeled and roughly chopped

Method

  1. Place the lamb into a large pan and pour over the stock. 
  2. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat until it is simmering and leave to simmer for an hour.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables and continue to cook for a further hour. 
  4. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to cool overnight.
  5. When you are ready to serve the stew, return the mixture to the boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely heated through.

Serve in warmed bowls with crusty bread and slices of a good Welsh cheese.

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients listed are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Red Dragon Cocktail

Red Dragon Cocktail
Red Dragon Cocktail

I’ve been search for a Welsh inspired cocktail for St David’s Day and I’ve found the Red Dragon. Although not entirely connected to Wales, the Red Dragon is it’s national symbol.

Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces tequila
  • 7 ounces triple sec

Method

  1. Mix the blood orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer on a low heat until it has a syrupy texture.
  2. Allow it to cool. 
  3. Combine ingredients in a large pitcher with ice. 

Serve in a margarita glasses, garnished with thin slices of blood orange peel

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients listed are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Bara Brith

Bara BrithImage: bbc.co.uk/food
Bara Brith
Image: bbc.co.uk/food

Along with Welsh Cakes, I remember my Welsh paternal Grandmother Gwen making this wonderfully sticky cake. Although this tea-bread is made using yeast by commercial bakers, my grandmother’s recipe for Bara Brith or ‘Mottled Bread’ uses a standard quick mix method once you’ve soaked the dried fruit in tea.

Makes 1 cake

Ingredients

  • 450g dried mixed fruit
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 300ml warm black tea (standard english tea-bag)
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten

Method

  1. In a large bowl soak the fruit and sugar in strained tea and leave overnight.
  2. Next day preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. 
  3. Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture and beat well.
  5. 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.

Serve, sliced thicky with plenty of butter.

Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakesimage: bbc.co.uk/food
Welsh Cakes
image: bbc.co.uk/food

My Welsh grandmother, Gwen, always had a batch of these ready for when we went to see herwhen I was younger. So they still remind me of her. These griddle cakes are really quick ad easy to make and make a great tea time treat alongside with the other Welsh favourite; ‘Bara Brith‘.

Makes 8-10

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 110g salted butter, diced
  • 85g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • handful of sultanas
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • milk, if needed
  • extra butter, for greasing

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the diced butter.
  2. Rub with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.(You can pusle in a food processor if you’re feeling lazy)
  3. Add the sugar, sultanas and beaten egg and mix well to form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed.
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured board to a thickness of about 5mm.
  5. Cut into rounds with a 7.5–10cm plain cutter.
  6. Rub a heavy iron griddle or pan with butter, wipe away the excess and place on the hob until it is heated through.
  7. Cook the Welsh cakes a few at a time for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown.
  8. Remove from the griddle and dust with caster sugar while still warm.

They can be eaten warm or stored in an airtight container for a week