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Category: Recipes

Welsh Soul Food - 'Potch'


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-11







'Potch' Recipe From 'How Green Was My Valley'





"Out to the back to mix the potch then. All the vegetables were boiled slowly in their jackets, never allowed to bubble in boiling, for then the goodness is from them, and they are full of water, and a squash tasteless to the mouth, without good smell, an offence to the eye, and an insult to the belly. Firm in the hand, skin them clean, and put them in a dish and mash with a heavy fork, with melted butter and the bruising of mint, potatoes, swedes, carrots, parsnips, turnips and their tops, then chop purple onions very fine , with a little head of parsley, and pick the leaves of small watercress from the stems, and mix together. The potch will be a creamy colour with something of pink, having a smell to tempt you to eat there and then, but wait until it has been in the hot oven for five minutes with a cover, so that the vegetables can mix in warm comfort together and become friendly, and the mint can go about his work, and for the cress to show his cunning, and for the goodness all about to soften the raw, ungentle nature of the onion." 

How Green Was My Valley - Richard Llewellyn

 

The above passage is quoted in Bobby Freemans Welsh culinary masterpiece,  Traditional Food From Wales along with the following observation:-

" Such a detailed description of this old Pembrokeshire dish is fortunate, for I can find no other written record of it anywhere, only confirmation of its existence. "

It seems likely that 'potsh' and the north Welsh variant 'stwnch' were common recipes in rural and working class households throughout Wales before the advent of the 20th century and modern pre-packed foods.

As you will see there are no quantities or cooking times in the above recipe from Richard Llewellyn's book so preparing this recipe was an adventure somewhat akin to culinary archaeology. The directions below worked well for us although you may wish to experiment with your own versions of this supremely adaptable dish. Be warned, however, that you MUST leave the vegetables to par boil for at least 2½  to 3 hours, otherwise you will be forced to resort to a food blender or engage in some extremely vigorous  mashing. In the latter case you may find yourself expending more calories creating the dish than it can replace.

The finished product is, however, quite delicious and excellent when accompanied with leek and bacon (as pictured above).


Important! Remember to par boil the veggies whole. Do not chop or peel.




       The Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1large swede (rutabaga)

  • 4 medium size carrots

  • 2 turnips

  • 2 large potatoes

  • 1 parsnip

  • watercress (to taste)

  • parsley (to taste)

  • fresh mint (to taste)

  • 4 oz butter (salted or unsalted)

  • 1 purple onion


Method (Preparation time: 4-5 hours)


  • Par boil the parsnip, rutabaga, potatoes, turnips and carrots for at least 2½ to 3 hours. Do not peel or chop before hand and do not "allow the water to bubble during boiling" (medium heat should be about right but you may need to experiment)

  • Remove the vegetables from the water, peel and mash. Add butter and mint.

  • Then -  "chop purple onions very fine , with a little head of parsley, and pick the leaves of small watercress from the stems, and mix together."

  • Put the  resulting mixture in an oven at 350°C for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Serve hot with leeks and bacon.

 




Watercress, chopped shallots and parsley



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Caws A Wy Wedi Pobi


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-11







Caws A Wy Wedi Pobi





Another recipe from AmeriCymru member Dilwyn Phillips :-

One of my favorites as a kid. My mother would make this dish early on a Saturday night during the cold winter months  It would take her a couple of hours in the coal fired oven we had, but thanks to modern technology, it now is a quick dish.

I have it for my breakfast.

This was passed this on to my step son who is a chef, and apparently it has become a popular snack in the Bridgend/Port Talbot area and refered to as a Dilwyn.




      The ingredients

  • Cheddar cheese

  • One egg

  • Dried onion flakes

  • Salt and pepper to taste


      Method

  • Cut cheese into small pieces and line a greased oven proof dish.

  • Crack the egg into the dish, then make sure that the yoke is broken and spread around.

  • Add the dried onions to the egg.

  • Cover with more cheese. (Sometimes I use grated cheese, but prefer chunks)

  • Grate the salt and pepper over the mix.

  • Place in an 850 watt oven for 1 minute 45 seconds (again this varies according to taste).


"Serve on buttered toast. But I prefer it sandwiched between two layers of toast." - Dilwyn

cheese and egg bake preparation


 

 

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Pac-Cymru Cawl & Bread


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-11







I'm working on inventing some recipes that I hope will be edible blends of Welsh and other cuisines, so this year for St. David's Day I wanted to do a seafood cawl.

Outside the Pacific NW, salmon is considered our "national" cuisine and if you tell people on the east coast that you're a Portlander but you don't like it, they seem disappointed. I never did like it until I moved to the east coast for a while and couldn't get it and that lead me to appreciate what a really fantastic thing good, fresh, wild salmon is, so I wanted to create a "cawl" with salmon. Ceri demanded mussels (ala Mussels Meirionnydd), so that's what he got and it's not Pacific Rim without sourdough bread, in my opinion.

After I made this, I was fortunate enough to find Welsh Shellfish Cawl on the Visit Wales site, and that looks really fantastic so I want to try making that next. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!



Ingredients



  • 1 lb fresh salmon filet, wild coho or king if you can get it

  • 1 lb mussels

  • 1 C cooked crabmeat

  • 2 quarts water or vegetable stock

  • 2 C cabernet

  • 1 large white onion, chopped

  • 1 large sliced carrot

  • 1 small rutabaga, sliced

  • 6 medium potatoes, quartered

  • 2 leeks, sliced

  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped

  • 1 C oyster mushrooms

  • 4 chopped cloves garlic

  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 t crushed rosemary

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs of thyme

  • salt and pepper to taste


Sourdough bread with parsley garlic butter



  • stick of butter or 8T butter, softened

  • 3 T fresh chopped parsley

  • three cloves garlic, cooked soft and crushed

  • 1 t parmesan cheese

  • baguette or boule of sourdough bread


 


Directions


 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring water or vegetable stock to a boil. Add onions, carrot, rutabaga and salt and pepper and reduce heat to simmer one hour.

In separate saucepan, saute chopped garlic and three whole cloves for bread with mushrooms until garlic has begun to brown. Reserve whole cloves for bread, add chopped garlic and mushrooms to pot. Add wine and potatoes and simmer another 15-20 minutes until tender. Add herbs, leeks, cabbage, crab meat and salmon until cabbage is tender. Add mussels and cover for about 15 minutes or until shells have fully opened.

While mussels are steaming, cream softened butter for bread with chopped parsley, parmesan and whole cloves garlic. Score bread through to bottom crust in 2' slices, taking care to leave bottom crust attached. Wrap bread in tinfoil, leaving top open, and place on cookie sheet. Spread butter liberally in between slices and bake in 350F oven about 15 minutes or until mussels are done.

Serve hot.

image above by Jon Sullivan, public domain courtesy of http://pdphoto.org/

 

Image via Wikipedia


 

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St David's Day Recipe - Lamb Argenteuil?


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-11







lamb argenteuil

 

Lamb Argenteuil



We noticed that it has been a year or two since we last offered a St David's Day recipe suggestion on the site. One day we will get around to a vegetarian menu in honour of the man himself. This year however, mindful of the fact that Wales will be playing France in Paris the day before March 1st (2015), we are posting a French recipe which utilises traditional Welsh ingredients. The finished product is pictured above and you will find a full list of ingredients and instructions below.

If you can't get Pembroke red potatoes or Welsh lamb and leeks where you are, just pretend. We are sure the end result will be equally mouthwatering. BUT be warned, despite the deliciously delicate flavour of the asparagus puree sauce this is a very filling meal so a light white wine might provide the ideal accompaniment. The ingredients shouldn't cost more than $30-45 ( £20-30 ) depending on where you buy the meat. Dydd gwyl dewi hapus and bon appetit!

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)


  • 1 boned shoulder of lamb (1.5 pound/ 0.66 kilos approx)

  • 2  small onions (chopped and peeled)

  • 1.5 pound/0.66 kilos of fresh asparagus

  • 1 oz/50g  unsalted butter

  • 100ml double or whipping cream

  • one heaped tablespoon of seasoned flour (add salt,  pepper, dried mixed herbs to taste)

  • Lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


Preparation

  • Rinse the asparagus and boil until tender. Drain and keep the asparagus water. Cut off the asparagus tips and put them aside. Puree the asparagus stems in your food processor.

  • Remove the excess fat from your lamb joint and dice the meat into 2 inch pieces (approx). Put the seasoned flour on a plate and roll the lamb pieces till they are covered in flour. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the meat and onions until they start to brown.

  • Add 11⁄4 cups (300mls approx) of the asparagus water and stir to make a smooth sauce. The meat must be simmered in this liquid for an hour. You can remove any layers of fat that form on the surface. Add more liquid if necessary and ensure that the meat is tender before proceeding.

  • Stir in the cream and asparagus puree. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste (go sparingly on the lemon juice). Stir thoroughly. The sauce should have a delicious aroma and a fairly thick consistency.

  • Serve the cooked lamb and sauce with the asparagus tips you removed earlier, arranged around the edge of the plate. Potatoes, mashed or boiled are an ideal accompaniment. For vegetables we are using leeks on this occasion because it is St David's Day. If you prefer something lighter, peas or broad beans will do very nicely.




 

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Welsh Beef In Whisky Sauce


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-11







Fillet Of Beef In A Welsh Whisky Sauce



Welsh Beef in Whisky Sauce

This recipe is adapted from Dudley Newbery's excellent recipe book 'Cook Up A Treat' (published by Y Lolfa). The ingredients list calls for Welsh whisky. Remember if you are in the US that this is not a problem since many of the major American whisky brands are of Welsh origin (  Jack Daniels , Evan Williams )       The ingredients

  • 1.35kg/3lbs of sirloin of beef

  • 1.1 litres/2 pints of beef stock

  • 175ml/6 fl oz of heavy/double cream

  • 75g/3 oz of butter

  • 3 shallots - finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 2 good measures of Welsh whisky

  • 1-2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, sea salt and black pepper


      Method

  • Season the meat. Heat the oil in a roasting tin, and seal the meat until browned.

  • Cook in a hot oven (200C/Gas Mark 6) for 15 minutes to each pound and an additional 15 minutes.

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the shallots until softened.

  • Add the whisky to the pan before adding the stock. Bring to the boil and reduce.

  • Add the cream and mustard and cook until the sauce thickens.

  • Allow the meat to rest before carving.


The whole process should take about an hour. Remember to prepare the meat first and pay particular attention to the sauce. Constant stirring is advisable after reducing the stock and adding the cream. If the sauce doesn't thicken sufficiently try adding a dash of yoghurt to give it the right consistency. We elected to serve the dish with an accompaniment of new potatoes, chopped leek, diced carrots and green beans (see pic above). You will find the original recipe in Dudley Newbery's excellent book (see below) along with many other mouth watering treats and delicacies. 



Cook Up A Treat




Dudley: Cook up a Treat - Buy the Book Here


"Dudley's TV food programmes on S4C are amongst the most popular on the channel. Dudley himself the most popular and charismatic cook we have in Wales. His popularity is based on sound, attractive recipes that really work, using fresh, seasonal ingredients that are locally available.

This book presents the best recipes of his recent television series when he travelled all over Wales and explored Europe and the Far East. There is something here for all palates and occasions, whether Thai soup and noodles, chicken salad, a succulent steak in whisky sauce, or a wicked chocolate tart.

The recipes are divided into sections for soup, fish, sauces, meat, rice and pasta, vegetarian food and of course desserts. The ingredients and method of cooking are presented simply and clearly along with mouth-watering photographs.

Cook up a treat with this beautiful book!"




 

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Bangers'n'Mash - The Mystery Ingredient


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-11







A slight twist on this classic of British (and Welsh) cuisine.



THE INGREDIENTS



       Serves 4 ( approx )

  • 3lb bag of potatoes ( preferably reds )

  • 1 large onion

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tin of sweetened peas or petit pois ( this is the mystery ingredient be sure the water has been sweetened )

  • About 8 bangers ( your preference )

  • 1 packet of gravy browning

  • 1 tablespoon of butter




PREPARATION




  1. Wash and dice potatoes, add to salted water and boil for 20 mins. Remove water, mash and add butter to taste.

  2. Peel and dice onion, add garlic ( 2-3 cloves ) if required, fry on medium heat till reduced and browned. Scoop onions to one side and fry bangers in the same pan for extra flavor. Remove bangers when cooked and set aside. Add gravy browning and stir. Add water from Sweetened Peas or Petit Pois can and stir. The sweetened 'pea water' will enhance the flavour of the gravy. ( In my opinion this is the all important step and 'mystery ingredient' )

  3. Warm up the peas.

  4. Serve bangers, mash and peas piping hot with lashings of gravy over the top ( see pic below ). Lip smackin good .




THE END RESULT




 



 

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Smoked Mackerel And Horseradish Pâté With Hot Brown Seeded-rolls



(Editors Note: Mackerel is almost unobtainable in the US apart from the Brit Food sections in Fred Meyers where it can be bought in cans. Unfortunately Mackerel tends to be used as fish bait here and not for human consumption. This is a mistake, witness this excellent recipe from Welsh gastronome Claire Meredith. The consistency of tinned mackerel is different from that of fresh or vacuum packed. The fish's texture is most important to the outcome of the pâté. So, you could use smoked trout or smoked haddock if smoked mackerel is either unavailable or prohibitively expensive.)



Reproduced with kind permission of Cymru Culture Magazine

Recipes can be as difficult as you choose to make them. I am a strong advocate of food that sounds, looks and tastes wonderful, but is very easy to make, and inexpensive. One of my favourite dishes (commonly serverd as a starter or as a chic party food) is my smoked mackerel and horseradish p âté . Here's how to do it ...

 

First, buy some smoked mackerel from your local supermarket (don't buy the pepper-coated variety as this will clash with the horseradish used in the recipe). You could also use smoked trout or haddock instead, if you wish.

Flake the smoked mackerel into a bowl and break it into small pieces. Do not use a liquidiser as it would make the mixture too smooth (the coarse texture of this p âté is one of its strengths).

Add 1-2 table spoons of creamed horseradish (to taste) and mix well. This mixture can then be stored in the fridge until needed.

 

Take some small capers out of the brine in which they are stored and set to one side. These will be used as a garnish for the final dish.

You could make the brown seeded rolls yourself, but I use the part-baked versions available from my local supermarket. They only take 6 minutes in the oven and come out smelling wonderful. Cut the bread rolls in half, spread with margarine (or butter, whichever you prefer), pile on a generous amount of the mackeral p âté and then sprinkle with capers.

It's a simple as that! Enjoy.

 

 

 

© 2011 Caregos Cyf. | Hawlfraint All rights reserved



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Cawl Ffa - Broad (Fava) Bean Soup


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-10







Cawl Ffa



cawl ffa - welsh fava bean soup
Cawl Ffa - serving suggestion


      The Ingredients (Serves 5)


  • lb (approx) salt bacon

  • 1/2 lb (approx) broad or fava beans

  • 4-5 potatoes

  • 1 rutabaga (swede)

  • 1 leek

  • Parsley (for garnish)

  • 1 tablespoon of oatmeal

  • Thyme (to taste)

  • Salt

  • Cold Water

       Method (Preparation time: 45 mins approx)


  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the sliced salt bacon.

  • Make a paste with the oatmeal and a little cold water. Add thyme to taste. Add to the pan.

  • Chop / dice and add the rutabaga and potatoes and boil for 20 minutes.

  • Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley and raw leek to taste.




first catch your peacock by bobby freeman, front cover detail You will find recipes for Cawl Ffa in many places online but our inspiration for this dish came from First Catch Your Peacock by Bobby Freeman. This classic work, which has been reprinted in the US as Traditional Food From Wales , is often regarded as the 'Bible of Welsh traditional cuisine'. The recipe, as reproduced in the book, does not contain very detailed cooking instructions. As with many other traditional recipes it is sometimes necessary to experiment once or twice to get things exactly right or rather, perhaps, to best suit one's own taste. In the present case it is important to remember that, although the above list of ingredients calls for the addition of salt you might want to skip it. Salted bacon is already very salty and adding more risks overwhelming the flavour of the dish altogether. Also, salt bacon is very fatty so you might want to trim as much as possible before you begin cooking. Having said that this is a delicious, hearty and economical meal and thoroughly recommended.



fava beans pic
Broad (Fava) Beans



 

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Cawl - The National Dish of Wales


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-10







Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe



Most visitors to this site will have been tempted to experiment with traditional Welsh cuisine. Some may have been frustrated by the difficulty of establishing precisely what constitutes a traditional recipe or by the perceived difficulty of recreating old Welsh cooking methods.

The recipe below solves both these problems. It is easy to prepare (you will not need a three legged cauldron) and it is entirely traditional. It is also cheap (about $25 for ten servings or more) and highly nutritious and delicious.

This recipe is inspired by, and very similar to, one recorded by Mati Thomas for her 1928 National Eisteddfod Entry - A Collection of Welsh Recipes . For more about Cawl and traditional Welsh cuisine please see the article after the recipe below.

pork blade steak with cawl ready to serve

Traditional Welsh cawl made with blade steak shoulder of pork.


      The Ingredients (Serves 6)


  • 2 lbs (approx) of pork (blade steak pork shoulder is ideal and economical)

  • 1medium swede (rutabaga)

  • 3 medium size carrots

  • 2 medium size parsnips

  • 1 large potato

  • 2 leeks

  • 1 small cabbage

  • summer savory  (to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons of oatmeal

      Method (Preparation time: 2 hours)


  • Put about a gallon of water into a large pan and bring to the boil.

  • Add the meet and boil for 1 ½ hours. Salt to taste.

  • Take out the meet and place on a dish.

  • Dice the rutabaga and place in the pan. Boil for 30 mins.

  • Add cold water to the oatmeal and mix to a paste. Add the summer savory to the paste.

  • After 10 minutes add the diced potato, carrot and parsnips together with the oatmeal paste.

  • After a further 10 minutes add the sliced leaks and chopped cabbage.

  • To recap - the meat boils in the pan for  1 ½ hours . After which you add the veggies and seasoning to the same pan at 10 minute intervals as prescribed above.

  • Remove the cawl from the heat. Serve in a bowl for each person. The meat should be served separately on a dish allowing people to help themselves.




Cawl after cooking


The term cawl means 'broth' in Welsh and it is often regarded as the national dish of Wales. It is important to remember that there were almost as many varieties of cawl as there were households in which it was cooked . This perhaps is not surprising when one considers that the dish has been in existence for many hundreds of years and that Welsh traditional recipes have seldom been recorded in written sources. It should also be borne in mind that cawl is essentially a stew of root vegetables and meat, and that what went into it was invariably whatever was to hand.

Nevertheless it is perhaps possible to distinguish between older and more traditional cawl recipes and the modern and more sumptuous varieties available in Welsh restaurants today.

The Wikipedia has the following to say about cawl :-


Cawl was traditionally eaten during the winter months in the south-west of Wales. Today the word is often used to refer to a dish containing lamb and leeks, due to their association with Welsh culture, but historically it was made with either salted bacon or beef, along with swedes, carrots and other seasonal vegetables. With the introduction of potatoes into the European diet in the latter half of the 16th century, this too would become a core ingredient in the recipe.

The meat in the dish was normally cut into medium-sized pieces and simmered with the vegetables in water. The stock was thickened with either oatmeal or flour, and was then served, without the meat or vegetables, as a first course. The vegetables and slices of the meat would then be served as a second course. Cawl served as a single course is today the most popular way to serve the meal.


So perhaps, if you are looking for a pre 16th century variant you should drop the potato and substitute a turnip?

The recipe presented on this page is adapted from a 19th century (and probably earlier) cawl variant recorded by Mati Thomas in her 1928 National Eisteddfod Entry - A Collection of Welsh Recipes . Our source for this is the excellent Traditional Food From Wales by Bobby Freeman. Her book is without a doubt the most important work on traditional Welsh cuisine available today.

In conclusion I would like to say that this recipe has a delightful simplicity about it. Only one pan is used throughout and nothing is thrown away. The full flavour of the meat and vegetables combine to form a delicious broth which also retains much of the nutritional value. The use of only a single herb underlines the fact that the dish preserves much of the natural flavour of its ingredients thus rendering additional seasoning redundant.

Of course the use of a single pan (or three legged cauldron) was perhaps necessitated by the cooking conditions of the times. Probably there were no other pots available. Likewise there may well have been a paucity of herbs and seasonings from which to choose. However that may be, the result is a culinary masterpiece and a triumph of 'primitive' cuisine.

As Milton's Comus once said "One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise and taste!"

images © 2015 Gaabriel Becket


 

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Tired of Cawl? Try Stumptown Stwnsh


By AmeriCymru, 2015-12-10







Stumptown Stwnsh - Welsh Mash With A Twist


For anyone who is not familiar with the term 'stwnsh', it is basically the Welsh word for mash. Traditionally this dish was prepared using potatoes, turnips, carrots or whatever root vegetables happened to be available. They could be boiled together or in separate pans but the ultimate goal was to mix and mash them. Stumptown stwnsh is a Portland, Oregon variant.



      The ingredients

  • 1 large rutabaga (swede)

  • 2 large potatoes

  • 1 large yam

  • a fistful of kale

  • half pack (2-3oz) of butter

  • seasoning (your preference)


      Method

  • peel and boil the rutabaga for 40 mins

  • after 10 minutes add the peeled potatoes and yam

  • add the kale about 5 minutes before removing your pan from the heat

  • drain the water

  • add butter and season to taste

  • mash vigorously





The whole process takes about 40 minutes and when you're done you should have enough for about six servings.

I add turmeric, ginger, onion and garlic powder to my stwnsh but you can experiment with whatever you have in your spice rack. If you add sausage and onion gravy, stwnsh is an excellent way to spice up your bangers'n'mash . It also keeps well in the fridge and makes an excellent fried breakfast served with a poached or fried egg and bacon

If you make enough of the stuff (just increase the proportions above or add extra root veggies to the mix) it will last for days and provide an excellent accompaniment to any meat dish imaginable. It also tastes great with curry sauce and vegetable curry mixes.

AND of course it's cheap! Rutabaga's are not, never have been and hopefully never will be, popular or trendy. They are a root vegetable best left to those who appreciate their flavour, nutritional value and versatility.

Mwynhewch eich bwyd!



Stumptown Stwnsh - Serving Suggestions

Here is the final product presented in an ornamental dish (decorated especially for the occasion).




Stumptown Stwnsh with pork'n'peas



 

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