Food F aggots and Peas Thank Wales for this Tasty dish
What Wales Wants....Fantastic Faggots! Frogadau to you!
Wales is perhaps a surprising place to find fantastic food, but fantastic food it has. One of its tasty treats is the Faggot invented years ago by the thrifty Welsh to use up the offal from the pig. It was said that everything was eaten from the pig but the squeak.
I remember our neighbors pig being slaughtered and watching in amazement as everything was saved including the blood which was used to make Black Pudding. The head was boiled to make Brawn and the trotters and ears saved to be jellied as a wholesome supper time treat. My father always had pigs trotters on Friday night. The head was taken apart and the flesh set in a basin with jellied stock, spices and herbs to be left to set so that it could be sliced. The intestines were used to make sausages and chitterlings. The melt, kidneys and liver made into tasty "Fry" for a breakfast addition to the ubiquitous bacon and eggs breakfast.
Bacon was made by hanging in the smoke of the ever present fire. Indeed, man owes much to the wonderful pig. The joints of meat were cut up and some salted and cured as hams as there was little refrigeration in those days. Parts that you would rather not know about were made into tasty sausages.
Now for the delicious Faggots. Most Welsh butchers have their own secret recipes which are a closely guarded family secret. They also vary slightly from batch to batch but are basically a rough meatball made of offal. herbs spices wrapped up in the caul from the stomach lining. Sounds dreadful but take it from me they are quite delicious. I buy them from a butcher in Cardigan Market in West Wales and I have to get there early or they are sold out fast.
How to make Faggots
4 oz Pigs Liver
4 oz Melt (if available)
8 oz Belly Pork
4 oz of other scrap Pork meat
Caul or streaky bacon to wrap
4 oz Breadcrumbs .......Salt and Pepper to taste
1 medium Onion .......Fresh Parsley.....1 tbsp.chopped sage ,,,,1 tsp Allspice,,,,dash nutmeg
Dash of chilli pepper if liked,,,,,,,,Makes 8 Faggots
Heat oven to 450 F You need a large mixing bowl and a mincer/ food processor.
Mince all meats and chop the onions finely.
Place all ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix well. Make into 8 balls.
Wrap each ball in caul if available or more likely, streaky bacon, make sure the bacon seals the balls well to hold the faggot together. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in a hot oven for just under an hour until cooked through.
Traditionally the faggots are served with peas and mashed potatoes and gravy. In Wales the peas are Mushy Peas but that is another story. Bread and butter and a cup of good Welsh tea are the usual accompaniments. This is a good, cheap heartwarming dish and in our house it was eagerly anticipated at least once a week. Oh, and liver is good for you, so I've been told! Enjoy!
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