This weekend’s England v. Wales World Cup rugby game is the perfect opportunity to inject a little Welsh magic into your traditional full cooked English breakfast by adding some laverbread.
Laverbread, or bara lawr in Welsh, is a seaweed found clinging to rocks on the west coast of Britain and Ireland. It’s harvested, washed, and then cooked until it is soft before being minced and put into tins. It is available from most large supermarkets but you can also buy it on the internet if your local store doesn’t stock it.
The resulting thick black/green paste is used in a number of dishes, including the traditional Welsh breakfast of laverbread and cockles. However, it’s just as lovely mixed with oatmeal and fried before being served as an accompaniment to a cooked breakfast.
- 1 x 225g tin of laverbread
- 75g of porridge oats
- A decent grind of black pepper
- A good pinch of sea salt
1. Mix the laverbread (Parsons is a well-known brand) with the porridge oats in a large bowl with a fork.
2. Add a grind of black pepper and a good pinch of sea salt (Halen Môn is very good, made in Wales, and widely available) and mix well.
3. Shape into small rounds using something like a cookie cutter as a mould. Depending on what size mould you use, you should get more than a dozen from this recipe.
4. Frying them in bacon fat (rendered from cooking your streaky bacon in the oven first) until crispy and golden gives the best taste but using vegetable oil and then dabbing with some butter when cooked is almost as good and makes the laverbread a delicious addition to a vegetarian breakfast.
5. Serve with the breakfast of your choice. We like them with a piece of smoked back bacon, a piece of crispy streaky bacon, roasted tomatoes, a good butcher’s sausage and a poached or fried egg - the laverbread is ideal for mopping up the yolk!
No matter what the final score is on Saturday evening, this is one occasion when mixing England and Wales is guaranteed to produce a perfect result…
If you have too many to use immediately, they freeze very well; just wrap them in greaseproof paper and freeze in a Tupperware container. When you want to use them, just take as many as you need out of the freezer and defrost before cooking.