Welsh Country - Nov Dec 2018


This is a complete issue of Welsh Country from Nov-Dec 2018

Market Dates

not to miss

Aberystwyth Farmers’ Market

North Parade

3rd & 17th November

1st, 15th (Christmas Market)

and 22nd December

from 10.00am – 2.00pm


Cowbridge Farmers’ Market

Market Arthur John’s Car Park

3rd and 17th November &

1st, 15th and 23rd December

from 9.00am -12.30pm


Lampeter Peoples’ Market

Victoria Hall, Lampeter

10th and 24th November &

8th and 22nd December

from 10.00am – 1.00pm


Myddfai Farmers’ Market

Myddfai Community Hall

28th November &

19th December

from 9.00am – 1pm


Penarth Farmers’ Market

West Bourne School

24th November &

22nd December

from 9.00am -12.30-pm


‘When Winter first begins to bite and stone cracks in the

frosty night, when wind doth howl and trees are bare, ’tis

evil in the Wild to fare’.

Well, I’m not sure I agree totally with Bilbo Baggins.

Those early morning frosts as you walk are a signal that my

favourite time of year is here; speaking as a chef, of course!

It is true that the early frosts have put pay to much of the

foraging, particularly mushrooms, but it heralds the start of

the game season proper, which by now is in full swing, with

partridge, woodcock (my fave!!) snipe, pheasant, wild duck

et.al. All competing for our attention, not to mention venison

and other furred game. All the hard work gathering and

foraging in Autumn pays off, with pickles, cordials and jellies

to accompany your game. I like to cook game quite simply; it

should ‘fly through a scorching hot oven’ and rest for as long

as possible, remaining pink and juicy. Seal your partridge

in hot oil/butter and roast at 200 o C for 10 - 12 minutes,

depending on size, then rest for an equivalent time, while

making a gravy with sherry, bayleaf and game stock (thank

you chef Paul Heathcote). For a pheasant breast, 30 seconds

(yes) each side in foaming butter. Lightly sprinkle with curry

spices, and 2 - 3 minutes in a hot oven with some slices of

apple. Take out and keep warm, while adding a wineglass of

game stock, a drop of cream and reduce the juices to coat the

breasts. Flame with a little Applejack if you can find it, too, for

an amazing flavour.

While many cooks bemoan the loss of the Summer

vegetables, I delight in the riches of slow-braised and sauced

Winter vegetables, Celeriac in mustard sauce, braised fennel,

Jerusalem artichokes and brassicas of all kind are now at

their peak. What’s not to love about aromatic red cabbage,

or sprouts fried with chestnut and bacon. Root vegetables

are sweet and delicious too, the first frost kick-starting the

conversion of starches to sugars, as any old wife will tell you.

Spuds too! Pick a nice floury variety, such as King Edward,

then boil, mash (with plenty of Welsh butter and a little milk),

roast or braise away.

As the waters around our shores cool, so the quality of our

fish improves, as the flesh firms up in the cold. Beef, lamb and

particularly pork are of top quality, too. We no longer have

to slaughter all livestock in November due to lack of Winter

fodder so there will be a steady supply.

‘Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat’ and so are

turkeys for our festive table. So on that note, may I take the

opportunity to wish you all health and happiness for the festive

season. Nadolin Llawen ac Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i bawb.

Happy Eating!


Still hot

from the

Gareth Johns is chef at

The Wynnstay Hotel, Machynlleth, Powys

Picture: Charles Dark



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