Friday, 28 February 2014

St David's Day Recipes

The 1st of March is St David's Day - the patent saint of wales. 
To celebrate the day, we, the welsh celebrate the day by eating lots of traditional welsh food. 

The most common is the delicious welsh cawl! It's the best thing about St David's day.
The smell of the kitchen when this is bubbling away on the stove is amazing. It smells like spring is coming. It smells like the welsh country air. Gorgeous!

To make cawl for around 2 people (large portions) you will need: 
400-500g shoulder of lamb 
2 small carrots 
2 potatoes 
3/4 small swede 
1/2 onion, diced 
1 1/2 leeks, sliced 
800ml water 
200ml lamb stock 
Large bunch of parsley 
Sea salt and pepper 

Place the lamb in a large pan and pour the water and stock over. Season. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 1 hr.
Remove the lamb and shred with a folk. 
Skim the stock if there is large amounts of fat. 
Return the lamb to the stock along with all the vegetables (reserving 1/2 leek for after). Add 1/2 bunch of torn parsley to the pan and bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hr 10 mins. 
Add the remaining 1/2 leek and simmer for 10-15 mins
Serve with crusty bread and slices of welsh mature cheddar, yum yum yum!

Welsh cakes are another great addition to St David's Day. They are almost like a tastier flat scone. Delicious with some welsh strawberry jam or just simply a dusting of sugar. They are tradionally made on a very hot cast iron stone board, but a frying pan or griddle can be easily substituted. 

Bara Brith has to be another favourite of St David's Day. It is almost like tea bread but much better of course. Saying that I've tasted some dreadful versions of bara brith from the supermarkets, dry and horrible! But my recipe is the complete opposite - it's is morosely moist and delicious! 

To fit a large loaf tin (2lb/900g):
6-8oz of luxury mixed fruit
6-8oz of a mix of sultanas, raisins, currents and dried cranberries
8oz of muscovado sugar 
350ml of black tea (made with 3 tea bags)
10oz of self raising flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp of mixed spice

To make the tea, add 360ml of boiling water to 3 tea bags, and leave to soak for about 5 mins. Remove the teabags.
Add the all the tried fruit and sugar in to a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Pour over the black tea and mix to dissolve the sugar.
Cover bowl and leave to soak overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a 900g loaf tin.
Beat the egg and add the egg to the fruit mixture, using a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. 
Mix in the flour and mixed spice with a wooden spoon. 
Scoop mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 1hr 30 mins, until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Check after 1hr 10 mins, and if its browning too quickly cover with foil and return to the oven.
Leave to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, and let it cool on a wire rack.

Serve on its own, with butter, custard, or vanilla ice cream. 

Ooo how I do love St David's Day! :)

During the week dad and I went out walking the dogs down the mumbles. 
It's soo pretty! Mumbles is on the gower coast and has a cute little lighthouse.

It was a glorious sunny welsh day with massive waves! 

Of course we couldn't go to mumbles without visiting Joes Ice cream! It's the best ice cream in wales - by far! 
We both had our favourites, mint choc chip and coffee ice cream. 

If you only come to wales once, it is most definitely on the to do list! Haha :) 

I worked at Valans for their special St David's Day lunch, it was amazing and the menu looked spectacular. 
I even got some of the leftovers! Yum! 

The beef was absolutely amazing!! It was so tender, it just melted in your mouth. True quality. 

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