If you’re missing our beautiful country, we can help ease the ache by showing you how to create some delicious Welsh food at home. While we might not be a country renowned for our culinary heritage, Wales has some delicious traditional dishes that we're going to share with you in this blog.
Our culinary tradition stretches back centuries and reflects an impressive talent for cultivating satisfying and flavourful food from, often limited, ingredients. We've chosen a few of our favourite Welsh dishes along with the recipes so you can create a taste of Wales in your own home... at least until we can spoil you again here at the hotel.
Each dish provides enough food for four people, whether as the main event or a side dish.
In a quest to create a delicious veggie dish, these intensely-flavoured cheese sausages were created in the southernmost parts of Wales. Glamorgan sausages are traditional Welsh vegetarian sausages made with cheese and leeks and coated in breadcrumbs.
Sadly, the Glamorgan cheese that gave the sausages their name no longer exists, but there are some wonderful local alternatives that we recommend. They’re explosively flavourful from using just a few ingredients.
115g trimmed leeks
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
150g grated strong cheese (we recommend Y Fenni cheese or any mature Welsh cheddar)
2 free-range eggs, separated
1 tsp English mustard
5 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt and black pepper
Place the breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning, mustard, leeks and herbs into a mixing bowl and mix well. Beat together the eggs, and add to the ingredients. Once well combined, mix to form a firm dough. If the mixture is dry, add a drop of milk. Divide the mixture into eight and form each portion into a sausage shape.
Coating the sausages is optional, but we recommend it because it provides such a lovely crispy texture. To do this, beat the egg and add the milk. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roll each sausage in the egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Once you’ve done them all, chill for an hour.
When they’re ready for cooking, add the oil to a hot frying pan and add the sausages a few at a time. Cook over a medium-low heat until golden all over. Take your time and cook them gently - they’ll burn on the outside and not cook through if the pan is too hot.
We recommend serving these cheesy morsels with buttery mash and vegetables for a robust and filling meal.
Welsh cakes, or pice ar y maen meaning 'cakes on the stone', are flat spiced cakes. Historically, they were cooked on a bakestone, but you can achieve the same results on a griddle.
You can eat them hot or cold, by themselves or smothered in butter (and even jam!).
225g self-raising flour (it’s important to use self-raising vs. plain flour and baking powder as you tend to taste the baking powder otherwise)
100g margarine or butter
2 tbsp milk
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon and sugar for dusting (optional)
Mix the flour and salt, and then rub in margarine. Stir in the sugar and currants and mix to a stiff dough with the egg and milk. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 0.5cm in thickness and cut into rounds of about 7cm across. Re-roll any excess to make more Welsh cakes.
To cook, place on a medium-hot greased griddle pan for about three minutes on each side. Once cooked, we love to dip them onto a plate with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar for a sweet, spicy kick!
They’re delicious with butter, perfect warm from the pan at breakfast time with a steaming cup of coffee.
TATWS PUM MUNUD
The English translation for the next dish is 'five minute potatoes' - it’s really that easy! It’s a stew cooked in almost no time on the stove. This warming recipe can be served as a starter or a side dish, but is best enjoyed with lots of crusty bread and butter.
20 small potatoes
8 slices of bacon
800ml beef stock
2 red onions
Salt and pepper
Dash of olive oil
Begin peeling the potatoes and cutting them into thin rounds or small cubes. Slice the bacon into small cubes and dice the onions.
Fry the onions and bacon in a large frying pan, and once the bacon and onions are softened, add the potatoes. If you have a lid for the pan, put it on. Add the beef stock to the pan and simmer until the potatoes give no resistance to a prodding fork.
Break up the potatoes up as you go and then cook for 20 minutes, stirring and mixing the bacon and onion mixture through the potatoes whilst cooking. Season with the salt and pepper and add a generous portion to each person’s bowl!
Most people known the town of Conwy for its medieval castle and walls. Around 40 minutes drive from the hotel, it has recently been crowned one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe by the Japanese Tourist Board.
As well as its history, Conwy is world-renowned for outstanding seafood, notably the mussels harvested from the local estuary. The town lies on an estuary where the River Conwy meets the Irish Sea and it's the mix of freshwater and seawater that's believed to give these juicy molluscs their unique flavour.
Conwy mussels are very much a seasonal treat, but if you can source them year-round, so this is a great recipe to try.
1kg mussels (cleaned and beards removed)
1 glass white wine of your choice
4 slices sourdough bread
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp olive oil
For the garlic butter:
40g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves (plus extra to serve)
½ tbsp tarragon leaves
½ tsp smoked paprika
10g grated Parmesan
Pinch of salt
First, to make the garlic butter, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor. You can make this up to five days ahead of time if you chill it in the fridge.
Toast one side of each slice of bread under the grill and spread the other side thickly with the butter. Place the bread under the grill again until the butter is bubbling. Once you’re there, turn off the grill and keep the toasts warm.
For the mussels, heat the oil and butter over a medium heat in a large pan with a lid. Add the parsley, bay leaf, shallot and pinch of pepper. Allow to sweat for a few minutes until the shallots are soft. Add the mussels and white wine and stir, before covering tightly with a lid. Steam for 2-3 minutes until all the mussels have opened.
To serve, spoon into bowls, pour over the pan juices, scatter over some chopped parsley and serve with the toast.
As an accompaniment to this dish, we simply recommend more white wine; it’s a match made in heaven!
Welsh cakes are available in North Wales most of the year around, but we recommend changing it up come Pancake Day, or you know, whenever you fancy!
Use your favourite pancake recipe to make the Welsh equivalent, crempogs. Made with buttermilk and much thicker than normal pancakes, crempogs are served hot and drizzled with butter and honey in a fabulous pile. They're rich, fluffy, and unfortunately terribly bad for you, so enjoy blissfully in moderation.
They're great as a breakfast treat with orange juice and a brew on the boil, but they're a really decadent dessert, too!
We love to celebrate Welsh food. Simple ingredients can pack a real punch and we're so pleased that these recipes are accessible and affordable to get that little taste of heaven until we see you next! As we say in Wales, blasus!