Welsh cakes (Shutterstock)
List 30 August

3 traditional Welsh recipes

Wild, wonderful Wales – where the food fuels big mountain walks and coastal hikes. Fancy a tasty carb fest? You've come to the right place...

1. Welsh cakes

A delicious little cake flavoured with spices and dried fruit. Baked on a griddle and best served warm and sprinkled with sugar. A real Welsh treat.

225g/8oz plain flour
100g/4oz butter
75g/3oz caster sugar
50g/2oz currants
½tsp baking powder
¼tsp mixed spice
1 egg
A pinch salt
A little milk to bind

Traditional Welsh cakes (Shutterstock)
Traditional Welsh cakes (Shutterstock)

Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice together in a mixing bowl. Cut up the butter and rub into the flour. Stir in the sugar and fruit, pour in the egg and mix to form a dough, use a little milk if the mixture is a little dry.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a biscuit. Use a pastry cutter to cut out rounds. Cook the cakes on a greased bake stone or griddle until golden. The heat should not be too high, as the cakes will cook on the outside too quickly, and not in the middle. Once cooked, sprinkle with caster sugar and serve with butter.

As an alternative you can try mixed dried fruit or tropical fruit. Some grated lemon or orange rind is also good. An unusual but delicious addition is 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers with some citrus zest. Add a little orange juice, zest and icing sugar to some soft butter to serve with the Welsh cakes.

2. Glamorgan sausages

A traditional Welsh vegetarian 'sausage' made with Caerphilly cheese, leek, mustard and rolled in breadcrumbs.

Makes 16 sausages

225g/8oz fresh breadcrumbs
125g/5oz grated cheese
3 medium size free-range eggs
A little milk
Salt and white pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
175g/6oz leek shredded finely and sautéed in a little butter for 2 minutes
1 heaped tablespoon of fresh, chopped parsley

For the coating:
100g/4oz fresh breadcrumbs
1 medium size free-range egg
4tbsp milk
Vegetable oil for frying

Glamorgan Sausage (Shutterstock)
Glamorgan Sausage (Shutterstock)

Place the breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning, mustard, leek and parsley into a mixing bowl and mix well. Beat the eggs, and add to the ingredients. Mix the ingredients to form a firm dough; you may need a little milk if the mixture is a little dry. Divide the mixture into 16 balls, and form each portion into a sausage shape. 

Coating the sausages is optional, however this does give them a wonderful crispy texture. Beat the egg and add the milk. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and season lightly. Take each sausage and roll it in the egg mixture, drain a little, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the sausages are coated; chill for 30 minutes. 

Heat a heavy base frying pan, add a little oil, add the sausages a few at a time and cook over a medium-low heat until golden all over. The sausages should fry gently, if the heat is too high they will brown too quickly and not be cooked through. These sausages are delicious served with a tomato salad. Use ripe tomatoes, sliced together with a little red onion. Dress with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, freshly ground black pepper.

3. Lamb cawl

Cawl is a traditional Welsh stew. If you are inland or up in the hills you will be served lamb or mutton cawl, but on the coast you will find seafood varieties.

Serves six

6 small Welsh lamb shanks
1.2L/2pt water
225g/8oz potatoes, peeled and diced
225g/8oz swede, peeled and diced
225g/8oz onion, peeled and chopped
225g/8oz carrots, peeled and diced
225g/8oz leek, cleaned and sliced thin
Bunch of herbs: Bay, thyme, rosemary and parsley
½ small Savoy cabbage
2tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Welsh cawl (Shutterstock)
Welsh cawl (Shutterstock)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, season the lamb shanks add to the pan together with the onion and brown all over. Pour in the water and add the herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduceto a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Add all of the vegetables except the cabbage, bring to the boil again, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 40 minutes. Shred the cabbage and add to the cawl, cook for about 5 minutes, then serve.

Cawl can be made throughout the year – just adjust the vegetables according to the season. Chopped runner beans, broad beans and peas are wonderful during early summer. Add a little chopped mint at the end of cooking.

During cooking the stock will reduce, so top it up with water or wine. You may also wish to add lentils or beans. Pearl barley is good during the winter months.


Main image: Welsh cakes (Shutterstock)