When I was growing up Wales wasn’t exactly considered a culinary haven, the mere mention of Welsh food conjured up images of pots of cockles, overcooked leeks and the pungent smell of seaweed. The identity of Welsh food in recent years seems to be gaining momentum, with an emphasis on using local and high-quality Welsh produce in restaurants, gastro pubs and in the home, to create Welsh inspired recipes.The identity of Welsh food in recent years seems to be gaining momentum, with an emphasis on using local and high-quality Welsh produce in restaurants, gastro pubs and in the home, to create Welsh inspired recipes Click To Tweet
I’ve teamed up with Discover Delicious to bring you some fuss-free Discover Delicious inspired, Welsh recipes, made using ingredients available from the Discover Delicious website. Discover Delicious want to connect foodies with local food and drink producers, many of them independent and family run businesses. If you live in the UK you can find recipe inspiration and buy local and artisan Welsh produce from their website, that Discover Delicious have discovered and sourced for you. Why not search their site and stock your fridge and cupboards with all manner of foodie delights that are reared, grown or crafted in Wales.@DDeliciousWales want to connect foodies with local food and drink producers, many of them independent and family run businesses. #foodie Click To Tweet
I think it’s important to note that I am not a chef. I am somewhat of a chaotic creator of dinner dishes, very often sauce will end up on the walls, I will often forget to buy a vital ingredient and there is the occasional small fire. Therefore, I decided to create relatively simple and tasty Welsh inspired recipes for people like me, the amateur cooking enthusiast, who is also prone to the odd culinary disaster. Using many of the Discover Delicious products I have created a starter, main, dessert and drinks that you can make and enjoy at home. I have tried to create relatively straightforward Discover Delicious inspired recipes, that don’t require massive amounts of culinary expertise or leave you with loads of obscure leftover ingredients in the cupboard. Turns out there are not many everyday dishes that require French sorrel or lemon basil.
Starter – Welsh rarebit in Snowdonia Ale
Ingredients [Serves 4]
4 slices of high-quality malted bread
25 g plain flour
3 tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
125ml Snowdonia Ale
200g Caws Cerwyn cheese
1 tsp English mustard
25g unsalted Welsh butter
Firstly you want to preheat your oven to a medium heat and immediately pour yourself a large glass of wine, or ‘chef’s petrol’ as I like to call it. Whilst sipping a lovely glass of wine you want to warm up your butter and flour in a pan and then mix it for a few minutes into a sort of paste. At this point it is going to look like questionable goop, fear not, it will all come together beautifully in the end. Then you want to take the goop off the heat and stir in some lovely Snowdonia Ale, a golden pale ale brewed by Welsh Brewery Purple Moose. Try and buy your malted bread from a local bakery if possible, you’ll notice the difference in quality and taste and you’ll be supporting a local business. I am a big fan of Pettigrew Bakery in Cardiff, they do some smashing fresh loaves.
I put around 125ml of Ale into the mixture, but feel free to add a little bit more if you would like a slightly boozier rarebit. Now add 3 teaspoons of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, 2 teaspoons of mustard and grate some creamy Caws Cerwyn cheese into the mixture, stir well. Toast your bread for a few minutes until it is crispy, then spread your mixture over the top of your bread and cook again for a few minutes until the cheese is deliciously bubbly. If desired, liberally add more cheese on to of your rarebit, I’m not a stickler for exact measurements and I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as ‘too much cheese’.
Main – half shoulder of Welsh Lamb with honey & rosemary
Ingredients [Serves 4]
1.2kg half shoulder of lamb
Handful fresh rosemary
5 tsp honey
Pinch of Halen Môn – Anglesey Sea Salt
2 teaspoons of olive oil
8 small potatoes cut in half
2 red onions cut into quarters
4 Carrots cut into chunks
The thing about a meaty main course is that you want to use the best quality meat you can get your hands on. I used a 1.2kg half shoulder of lamb sourced locally by Discover Delicious from the Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher. With meat this good, you don’t want to mask the taste by smothering it with half the contents of your cupboard. Therefore I decided to roast with a simple covering or honey and rosemary, to really bring out the flavour.
Start by preheating your oven to 200C/180C fan, ready to roast your lamb. Then you want to start making small incisions on the skin side of the lamb and rub the oil and salt in, you can also insert rosemary into the slits or place liberally on top. Chop up your vegetables for roasting and place in the tin. I would also add a splash of water to the lamb to keep it nice and moist during the cooking process. There is nothing worse than serving up lamb as dry as an old boot of a Sunday, you want meaty perfection darlings! Cover with foil and roast for approximately 2.5 hours, make sure to check on it and baste every 25 minutes. About 30 minutes before the end of cooking time add the honey on top of the lamb, recover and put back in the oven. After 2.5 hours, take the foil off and push the potatoes to the side of the lamb and continue to roast for an extra few minutes until potatoes are crispy and lush.
Serve with lamb gravy if desired and a lovely bottle of red wine, I recommend a Malbec, one of my favourite reds. If you are going to have a bash at making your own lamb gravy then you will need to try and pour the fat from the roasting tin and then place it on the warm hob. Add 570m of water, a good quality lamb stock cube, a few sprigs of rosemary, a pinch of salt and pepper and 25g of plain flour. Simmer on a medium heat and strain before serving to achieve a lovely smooth gravy. Reward yourself with a glass of wine immediately.
Dessert – Salted caramel and chocolate mousse
Ingredients [Serves 4]
4 tbsp Halen Môn Salted Caramel Spread
400g Sarah Bunton Chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tbsp caster sugar
8 eggs, separated
30g unsalted butter
Extra thick double cream and strawberries to serve
When my large Sarah Bunton Chocolate block arrived, I wasn’t expecting it to have ‘Happy Birthday’ inscribed upon it. Indeed, it seemed a shame to break up such a pretty bar of chocolate into chunks for a chocolate mousse recipe. Sarah Bunton is an artisan chocolatier [surely the best job title ever?] based in mid-Wales and her chocolate is absolutely divine. Another key component of this recipe is the deliciously moreish Halen Môn Salted Caramel Spread, which will form the heavenly bottom layer of the mousse.
To start you want to break your chocolate into pieces and put it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, add the butter and melt into a lovely mixture. Whilst the chocolate is melting, separate your eggs and try not to drop yolk all over the kitchen floor like I did. Take the chocolate mixture off the heat and when it has cooled slightly whisk the egg yolks in. Your next task is to whisk the remaining egg whites in a separate bowl, into foam, then add sugar and whisk again into soft peaks. It was at this point I realised I had bought granulated sugar and not caster sugar. A mini, wine-induced panic ensued and husband and I ended up having to blend the granulated sugar in our smoothie maker to make caster sugar and another potential kitchen disaster was narrowly averted.
Stir around a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and then carefully fold the rest in. Now you want to add a layer of Halen Môn Salted Caramel Spread to the bottom of your glass and then add the chocolate mousse on top. Chill in the fridge for an hour and then add a dollop of thick double cream, sliced strawberries and grated chocolate to make your mousse extra tasty and Instagrammable!
Ingredients [Per drink]
50cl Dyfi Original Gin
Juice of 1 lime
15ml Simple syrup
When staging a delectable 3-course meal it is important to serve equally lovely drinks for maximum dining indulgence. Lovely husband Luke is the cocktail guru in our house, so he was tasked with creating a simple gin cocktail using Artisan Welsh Gin, Dyfi Original, which is made with wild Welsh botanicals.
To create this fruity little cocktail you will need to blend strawberries with ice, lime juice and simple syrup in a blender. To make your own simple syrup just heat up equal portions of sugar and water until dissolved and leave to cool. Then strain the mixture into a cocktail shaker that contains several ice cubes, add the gin and strawberry liqueur and ‘shake it off’ like Taylor Swift. Pour into glass and serve with Dixieland jazz playing in the background.
After-dinner Rum Coffee
Milk/cream/sugar to serve if desired
What better way to round the evening off than with a lovely rum coffee? Ideally, you want a good quality coffee and a decent spiced rum, to make a really flavourful cup of coffee. I used ground Cariad Coffee, a smooth blend of lovely, chocolatey tones and Barti Rum, a spiced Welsh rum infused with laver seaweed. Brew your Cariad Coffee in a filter coffee machine and when the coffee is brewed, pour and add a shot of rum to each cup. Add sugar/cream/milk to your coffee is desired and relax after a long day of cooking. You have earnt it!
What do you think of my Welsh inspired recipes post? Would you create Discover Delicious inspired dishes at home? Let me know in the comments below!