God Save the Queen! A British Feast
So – I don’t know how many people actually care about British politics, but over this past week Scotland had an epic vote regarding whether they should be an independent country or remain part of the United Kingdom. Good sense prevailed and Scotland remains part of the UK! In celebration, I decided I should make a meal with one dish each from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales in order to celebrate. The menu ending up being Glamorgan Sausages for Wales, Bannocks for Scotland, Buttered Cabbage for Northern Ireland, and Glazed Carrots and Stilton cheese (separate, not together) for England. Since the cabbage and carrots are fairly straight-forward and easy (and this was a lot of food) – I’m just going to go through the bannocks and the glamorgan sausages.
Bannocks (Or Oatcakes)
3/4 cup old fashioned oats, finely chopped into flour
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2-3 tablespoons butter
Take the oats and turn them into something resembling flour. This can either be achieved with a food processor, or by chopping them very finely with a knife. Since I don’t have a food processor, I did the latter. It’s totally doable, but takes awhile. Stick the oat flour into a bowl, and mix with the normal flour and the baking powder. Cut in the butter, then add in the mix. Mix – it should be a slightly stiff, slightly sticky dough. If it needs more flour, add some and add some oats (unchopped). Roll out into something resembling a circle. Then you can either pan-fry it in butter, or bake it in the oven at 375. I actually tried both methods, and both are good, so its really up to you.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 large leek, thinly sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup strong cheese, shredded
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
Oil for frying
Saute the leeks in a little butter just for a couple minutes so they can soften a bit. stick in a large. Stick in a large bowl with the bread crumbs, cheese (I used an English cheddar), parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix them all together. Then add the egg and mix it in. Stick the whole thing in the fridge and let it chill for awhile (30 minutes to an hour). Once the mixture has thoroughly chilled, pull it out and shape into little cigar/sausage things. Dip the little sausages into the egg, and then roll in the breadcrumbs until they are completely coated. Pan-fry them in oil, making sure to flip them over so both sides get fried. Stick them on a paper-towel-lined plate and serve while still warm.
The Result: British food gets a totally unfair rap – all of these dishes were delicious. Ok, the cabbage was merely decent, bit still. I topped the bannocks with the Stilton cheese, and it was so good. I also ate the leftovers with butter and honey for breakfast the next day – something I highly recommend. And the sausages were super good! I didn’t make enough – which is always a good sign with a new recipe as it means I just kept eating them. And of course, you must have this meal with an English ale – I chose Newcastle, which is one of my standard go-to beers. This meal is proof that British cuisine is not crap, and vegetarians do in fact have some options. Song of the week: Victoria by the Kinks. The Kinks are a grossly under-appreciated British-invasion rock band, and this song is their semi-sarcastic ode to the Empire. Listen to it and then listen to more of their music – you won’t be sorry.