Lamb is, bar none, the favourite meat of those who consider Wales to be the land of their fathers. It is the quintessential meat and taste of my ancient, proud Celtic nation, which also, as the English would have it, finds itself inhabited solely by ‘sheep-shaggers’ or, to put it more politely, ‘wool-fondlers’. However, as the landscape of New Zealand or the cuisine of Greece suggests, Wales isn’t the only country in the world in which lamb reigns supreme. It is a meat considered by many, including me, to be the perfect balance between flavour and tenderness. Indeed, if you don’t mind my saying so, there are few things which exist on God’s earth as pleasant as the feeling of the freshly braised neck of a young wool-covered ruminant on one’s tongue. Anyway, that’s enough ruminating; too much deep-thought can do catastrophic damage to one’s mind.
Being able to identify and prepare the cheaper cuts of meat is one of the many paths to becoming truly frugal. As my tips section explains, meat is the main culprit behind the lack of frugality these days. Indeed, if you’re going to be excessively carnivorous, you may as well do it economically. Not only this, but the cheaper cuts are often the most flavoursome; lamb bread and pork hand are evidence of this. The reason for their relative lack of expense is the fact that they can often take a while to prepare or cook. Lamb breast is also considered to be too fatty by most people. However, one must remember that the cooking process has the added effect of melting most of the fat present in meat; this makes its use entirely optional.
Welsh rarebit, or rabbit, is a traditional twist on the classic cheese on toast. In truth, I don’t suppose this is a dish confined to our small corner of the world, since English rarebit, Scotch rarebit and Irish rarebit also exist. However, I’m not certain if those rarebits made in the other corners of the British Isles bare the exact credentials of the well-known Welsh version. It is important to highlight that the original dish was called Welsh rabbit, rather than rarebit. It makes sense, perhaps, that the name was changed to distinguish it as a non-meat dish.
This week, Katherine and I took a long overdue holiday. We have spent the last five days amongst some of the most incredible scenery North Wales has to offer. If you like walking over snowy mountains, this place is for you. Not only is the landscape incredibly dramatic, but it is peppered with historic monuments, burial grounds, wells and even a bunker which I presume dates back to the Second World War. The sparsely populated county of Gwynedd, North Wales, is truly inspiring – we shall be returning, car under foot, to visit the fabled ‘Roman Steps’.
Being Welsh I thought it might be a good idea to, over time, post numerous traditional recipes from my home country with the aim of making them a little more popular and keeping tradition alive. As such, the epitome of Welsh cooking, cawl, really had to come first. Cawl is actually the Welsh word for broth and as tradition dictates must contain lamb and leek. However, cawl is really a dish for using left overs, for that reason one can use nearly anything to make it, and it often includes potatoes, swede, bacon and carrots.
Hello! I'm Nick, frugal food enthusiast and curator of frugalfeeding, a food blog about eating good, well-sourced food as economically as possible.