Si and Dave explore Carmarthenshire, where they cook a traditional county favourite in the National Botanic Garden of Wales. They also go cockling at Laugharne.
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-We're the Hairy Bikers!
-And we're on the road to find regional recipes to rev up your appetite!
We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British!
Today we're in search of the real taste of Carmarthenshire.
-You'll never guess who was born in Carmarthenshire?
-No, dude, who?
Merlin, the great wizard. You know, you can sense it in the air.
You've got King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, the Lady of the Lake, whoa! You can feel it!
It feels a bit ethereal, doesn't it, you know, the whole landscape thing.
And you know as a Welsh county, Carmarthenshire's got the lot...
you've got the coast, you've got the pastures, the Black Mountains.
I'm just wondering, if we're gonna get those things that
are quintessentially Welsh here, you know in one melting pot...
-Come on, let's hit the town... I'm hungry!
It's good this, innit?
On our quest to find the true flavours of Carmarthenshire,
we cook up a classic county dish at the Botanic Gardens of Wales.
We harvest cockles from some of the richest beds in Britain.
And meet the happiest goat herd in the lush Welsh hills.
-Ooh, ooh, that's not your mammy!
And representing Carmarthenshire in the cook-off later, are Sue Manson and Maryann Wright.
Will we be able to beat them in a blind-tasting judged by local diners?
Llandeilo, 20 miles from the sea, underneath the Welsh Black Mountains.
It's one of those really lovely Welsh villages. It's a real hidden gem.
It is, lots of pretty pastel-coloured houses, and I bet some great food.
What's great to eat down here?
Bara brith is really good, soda bread is really good.
Carmarthenshire is one of the...
well, it is the biggest dairy area in Wales.
Heavenly Ice Cream, chocolate and sweets.
-Nice to meet you.
Tracy, what have you got, cos it looks fabulous!
Well, we've got a selection of ice creams but what's particularly local
for this area is the Aberglasney Lavender.
It's grown organically for us in the local gardens.
I think you've got the level of the perfuming in it just right.
It's a grown-up ice cream. Cor, look at the honey one! Is that local honey?
Yeah, it's from Talley which is about five minutes from here.
Wow, that's mega!
The Italians make great ice cream, without a doubt, but this is...
But they haven't got organic Welsh milk!
No, they haven't, and that's the difference!
-What is it?
-This is laverbread.
Even though it's called laverbread, there's no bread in it, it's actually just the seaweed.
It's served hot, with flour, cockles and bacon.
It doesn't look it, I've gotta tell you!
-It smells a little bit of the sea.
-I'll have a go!
Come on, Kingy! Eat that, you'll be singing like Aled Jones!
-So what is about the landscape of Carmarthenshire that kind of defines the food?
Beautiful lush green landscape due to the huge amount of rain that we have over here!
Just over the bridge there's a small butcher's that's got some lovely stuff, Dewi Roberts.
Dewi, could you tell us about Welsh beef?
Look at that, guys! Welsh Black... it's the best beef you can get.
We've got the marbling, the fat cover, because that's where your flavour lies, as you guys know.
-And have you heard of Carmarthenshire ham?
The Romans came to Carmarthen and when we kicked them out, because we gave them a tough time,
they took the recipe for Carmarthen ham back with them, and they turned it into Parma ham.
That's Carmarthen Ham, give it a go. You'll find it won't be as sweet as Parma ham, but I reckon it's better.
This has been cured by the same family for about 70 years.
This is the family jewels...
-they'll never give the recipe away.
-Mmm, that's lovely!
There are some great dishes in Carmarthenshire, but what dish could really sum up the county?
Well, in the middle of Carmarthenshire you've got
some great Welsh ingredients I'm sure you're aware of...
things like laverbread and cockles.
-You've got laverbread, cockles...
-Are there any kind of old recipes that your granny would have made for you?
Well, I'll tell you what my husband likes, he lives laverbread with cockles, a little bit of onion,
you can chuck a bit of home-cured bacon in as well, cut into nice little chunks.
-I think I'm gonna live in Llandeilo!
-It's fab, isn't it!
It is fab! And I'll tell you what else sounds fab... cockles, laverbread and bacon.
What a great Carmarthenshire dish!
Ooh, let's go and find some.
Parsons Pickles have been harvesting cockles and laverbread from Laugharne since 1947.
-We're meeting the man in charge... Colin McDonald.
-Pleased to meet you.
-How do you do? OK, so jump in there, and we'll get over.
Not just anyone can turn up and go cockling around here.
There are regulations to ensure the picker's safety and to maintain
sustainability so we've been granted special licences for the day.
What makes the area so good for cockles?
It must be all the nutrients in the water, because they go three or four
times quicker than anywhere else in Britain.
This is a cockling sledge, what's commonly known as a car bonnet.
It's recycling at its best!
It's better that spending a lot of money. Does the job!
Peter is showing us the ropes.
The tide has rushed them all into piles because their density is so thick as well.
Yes, right, and you're allowed to pick them?
-Yes, we're allowed to pick them then.
-So you just rake them into a sieve,
-wash them, bag them and have a good feed?
-Have a good feed!
So how much do you expect to get out of here today, then?
About a ton and a half to two tons.
-So in a way it's a bit like being a miner, isn't it?
You've got a rich seam. You've gotta get it out while you can.
-You can have a bad day and it can be raining and blowing and you'll go home with virtually nothing,
-but today, now, pickings are good!
-Pickings are good!
There's nowt there, that's mud!
It's not, man. Hold on. I've got a plan. Hold on.
Hoo, hoo, hoo!
Lads, give us a bag of those cockles, man.
'Ere. Right-o, run like mad.
Getting there, Kingy!
-Got a few 'ere!
The only thing is, they're quite heavy, so you've got to run, OK?
Not you, man, me!
I was only joking!
By fair means or foul, we've got 'em.
Can you help us with our other ingredient, the laverbread?
One of the lads picked some yesterday, so I've brought it along for you to see.
It's got the same sheen to it, hasn't it, that laverbread has.
-How lovely, you can eat this now, can't you?
-If you want to.
We wash all the sand out of it.
Yeah, it really is quite sandy at this point!
-And we boil it for 24 hours, then we mince it and put it into the tins.
And there's your finished product.
It's such a healthy product. The minerals in that is just...
-I can see why it's good with bacon, and indeed with cockles.
By jove, I love it!
With our panniers laden with cockles and laverbread,
it's time to get cooking and we're heading to one of Carmarthenshire's newest treasures...
the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, created to celebrate the Millennium.
We'll be cooking a traditional Carmarthenshire breakfast
of cockles, laverbread and bacon.
Welcome to the National Botanical Gardens in Carmarthenshire.
-That's in Wales.
It's a paradise of glasshouses and undulating hills, and over there behind is Nelson's Tower.
Column in London, Tower down here. We've had a pretty rough morning.
We've been out cockling and these are what we were after...
cockles, proper cockles.
You put them in a bowl of water for about three hours with some flour in. That gets all the sand out.
Once you've cleaned your cockles, you put them in a pan, you boil them for about four minutes.
When they're open, they're done.
If these were in Spain, this would cost like the price of a small car.
The Spanish, the French, everyone goes bonkers for cockles...
so once you've got them like this, you need to set them aside to cool.
You put them out the shells,
-and you end up with a plate of cockles.
So what we're gonna do is we're gonna make laverbread cakes,
mix it with oatmeal and fry it in rendered-down bacon fat.
Look at this bacon! Isn't that fantastic! Home-cured bacon, dry-cured.
We reckon, like with the Carmarthenshire ham and the bacon, it's quite salty.
They have a liking for salt, don't they, the Carmarthenshire folk?
-And high blood pressure!
-And high blood pressure!
To make the laverbread cakes you mix it with oatmeal or porridge oats.
Now, we've never done this before.
Right, so I've got five cans.
-I'm just getting there.
-We're getting there, dude!
I think it's still a bit sloppy.
-What do you reckon?
-You need to leave laverbread with the oats to swell up.
Right. What we need to do now is to leave this for a bit to swell up,
because obviously the oatmeal needs
to absorb the liquid from the seaweed.
As you can see, the texture has changed considerably,
and it's become really quite firm and workable.
-Bara lawr. That's laverbread in Welsh.
-What's Hairy Bikers in Welsh?
-And we're the "Bakewell Blowogs"!
Right, the cockles. Butter and oil.
Now this isn't so traditional but we reckon just the cockles for a bit of
colour, we're just gonna chuck in a handful of chopped leek.
We want the leeks to sweat down, not to go brown, so we put them in there.
I'll just leave them to moulder for a bit and I'll get on with my laver rocks.
-Bread! Hands are clean, dive in.
Obviously the cakes can be whatever size you want, but it's going
to be lovely, toasted oatmeal, the essence of the sea.
It's kind of like Welsh "surf and turf", isn't it?
So we pop those in there.
-Bacon fat, it's gonna toast all that oatmeal.
-Right, the leeks are done.
-We really don't need the cockles in yet, do we?
Do you have any residue of fat you could dribble into me laver rocks?
-Bread! That's just stuffed it for the vegetarians, sorry!
How can you tell when these are done?
Squash them with your hands so they get flatter and then you can see.
If it's still moist inside, it's not cooked quite enough.
Would you like to come and have a press?
You can't just willy-nilly have people coming in pressing your laverbread!
-I'm washing my hands!
-Good god! I'm touching bacon fat!
-It's all at the bottom.
-Don't break them up!
-No, they need to be broken.
That's what they're supposed to do, so they'll take up the taste of everything else.
Right, no, that's a top tip!
When you're doing laverbread cakes, after you've just got a nice crust on them, give them a nice
press down to crack the edges, all that lovely bacon flavour will go in through those cracks.
He's never had an original thought in his life, you know!
Oh, now, aye, what are these?
-Can you clog dance?
-Come on, girl, come on!
-All right, then, OK.
-So, what's happened?
-The laverbread cakes are going really golden and crusting up nicely.
They're just about done so I turn them down onto low
and let it go into holding pattern while we watch the clog dancing!
-There we are!
Kid, that was fantastic!
Delia Smith would say, "That's why you always use a strong baking tray,
"in case you feel the need to clog-dance". The laver bread is ready.
Just give it a twist of pepper, because I forgot to put it in.
That'll be fine.
The bacon's done. In here it's just a leek that's been sweated
down in some butter and olive oil and we chuck the cockles in.
These cockles have just been blanched
and taken from their shells.
They were swimming this morning!
Just treat them with a bit of love now and just warm them through.
A little bit of sea salt.
Now it's time to build our tribute to Carmarthenshire...
a proper traditional Welsh breakfast Dillon Thomas would be proud of.
-And these are just starting to steam through, which is what we want,
and lashings of Carmarthenshire cockles.
So there we have it! A traditional Carmarthenshire breakfast feast.
Now it's the moment of truth.
-Will the locals think our version of the Carmarthenshire breakfast is up to scratch?
-There you are, madam.
Now what do you think, sir?
-Very good. I've broken my vegetarianism to your bacon as well!
-Have you? Good lad!
-It's the first piece of meat that's passed these lips!
-Really? You liar!
Bit of Welsh pig.
It is, yeah. I haven't had one as good as that for a long time.
I hate fish. But I'm willing to try fish all the time,
but you've actually converted me!
It's the first time I've had laverbread and I really am impressed!
-How does your mum do the cockles and laverbread?
I don't know. I'm in the other room, she's bringing it to me!
I think it's absolutely lovely because it's the taste of Welsh,
and they all combine together.
Our cockles, laverbread and bacon seem to hit the spot with the people of Carmarthenshire.
Next, though, an even bigger challenge is around the corner.
Today we're taking on two of the county's top chefs
in their restaurant using local ingredients to see how can best define the taste of the region.
It will be up to local diners in a blind-tasting to decide whose dish
best represents the true flavours of Carmarthenshire.
Our opponents today are...
Sue Manson and Maryann Wright of Y Polyn Restaurant in Nantgaredig.
Together with their husbands, friends Sue and Maryann have achieved their dream of
running their own Michelin-recommended restaurant.
Myself and Sue are mostly in the kitchen.
Our husbands, Mark and Simon, are front of house.
We've all got very similar tastes, which is one of the reasons
we decided to have a restaurant together.
We have some small farmers who will come to us and say, "We're about to kill some sheep."
Then they come with two sacks, one Welsh black-faced and one Welsh white-faced lamb,
and we can put it on the menu as that, which is great.
It makes it personal to us.
We have a coracle fisherman who phones us up.
He's had sewin out the river two hours ago, which is sea trout in most parts of the world.
It's so fresh, it's still glistening.
Our customers do expect hearty food. We're a family community so people expect a lot of meat
on the plate, really, compared to maybe other restaurants in cities.
To take on the Bikers today, our taste of Carmarthenshire is...
Welsh black beef cheeks with crispy ox tongue.
Spring greens, Carmarthenshire bacon and local honey, Welsh tongue in cheek.
-Hello, I'm Dave.
-Nice to meet you.
-Do you want to come in.
Headline the dish for us, ladies.
Well, today we're cooking Welsh black beef cheeks with crispy ox tongue.
-I liked jellied tongue, but you don't think of tongue as being crispy, so crack on!
This is a beef cheek.
Trim off the sort of membrany bit which is gonna be quite tough otherwise.
And then you're left with the lovely meat which will cook for about
six hours or so, so it will become really lovely and tender by then.
While Maryann finishes trimming the cheeks, I'm going to get the tongue underway,
so basically we're gonna pop the tongue into a pan of water, some red wine, some white win,
chopped onions, garlic, carrots and celery, some salt in there and some cracked black pepper.
Right, I'm just going to tie these up, two or three bits of string
and trim the ends so they make a nice shape when they come out on the plate.
I'm just going to drop the tongue in there with the vegetables
and leave to its own devices for the next four hours.
Obviously it's quite a way away, so I cooked one yesterday
-so we can show you what we do to it next.
I've just cut off the end, just again to make it into a sort of
more of a regular shape rather than too flabby
and then we keep the off-cuts of that and we can make that
into a rich red wine sauce for our steaks, because it's perfect for that sort of thing,
so we're just gonna put those in there with a bit more of the veg, just to marinate.
We'll pop some red wine over that and then leave that for the next batch, really.
So how long would you leave this to marinate now, Maryann?
A good 24 hours. These are ones that Sue marinated yesterday.
Ooh, they look fantastic!
They take on that lovely sort of deep colour in the wine.
They've changed completely.
So I'm gonna basically take the skin off of the tongue now.
It makes your eyes water, doesn't it!
Most of it you can just get your fingers in there and pull it off
and then towards the top end,
it tends to stick around where the tastebuds are.
Get the knife, slide it underneath.
-It's not the prettiest-looking thing.
-It's like when your tennis shoes start to shed their surroundings, isn't it!
How long are they in the pan for?
-About four or five minutes altogether, I'd say.
Until they're well-browned and I'll put them in that casserole dish
and then strain the vegetables out of here
and cook those down a bit.
Pop those in...to cook down a bit.
They're smelling nice!
I was going to add a bit of flour to here, just to help
thicken the sauce a bit more and then a bit of tomato puree.
-It's gonna be so rich this, isn't it?
I'm gonna pour that on top of the beef cheeks.
I've put the rest of the marinade in there as well as the red wine and that's enough to cover it,
so I don't need any more to top it up and then I'm gonna wait for that
to come up to the boil,
-and then pop it in a low oven for about six hours.
-So this would be a really good Aga one, wouldn't it?
It's just worth checking it every now and again to make sure it's covered,
because it does reduce the sauce, so...
-How's the tongue?
-We're just gonna trim some slices off of the tongue,
get rid of the very, very end.
We're gonna flour it, dip it in egg, and then into Japanese breadcrumbs
-for the different texture.
-Yes, they're wonderful, aren't they!
It just gives a bit more texture, so as you go along you get towards the root of the tongue as well
and we tend to take a slightly smaller slice
than we're taking off the root and just using the top part.
-Now look, you see...
You've done that before! Little round-a-roony.
Look at that... every one is identical!
These are the bits that we're going to use to make the coating for the tongue.
Into the flour, given them a little shake-off, into the egg.
In the breadcrumbs...
-Ready to fry, yeah.
The bacon, it's from Carmarthen.
It's a little bit saltier than your average bacon,
and it's well-cured.
Yeah, it's very dry,
so I'm cutting this up to go with the spring greens.
Boy, you're perfect with your lardons, our Maryann!
-I've had plenty of practice.
-And, chef, how's your veggies?
-Fairly, nearly there.
- Yeah. - If you just basically...
salted water, boil some potato and parsnip to make the mash.
-Would you mind draining them off for me?
-Not at all!
You didn't want that bit, did you?
Feel free! I'm just gonna put these back over the heat,
draw some of the moisture out of it before we put it through a ricer.
-This is spring green and cabbage, just to make it a bit more interesting.
-I hope this is local!
It is. It's my lovely organic supplier, about four miles away.
-Right, I'm gonna put these little...
bacon into that batter, just to sizzle it away, OK?
The potatoes and parsnips are dried out now.
The extra moisture is gone so this, when it's mashed, is going to be
-mixed with an unhealthy amount of butter.
-It has to be!
-Right, that's the bacon, all sizzled up, so...
I'm gonna get butter in the pan, and melt that down a bit.
Put the mash back into there, give it a good beat up.
That was a big knob of butter!
That's our sort of butter.
I was gonna saute it with the spring greens and the cabbage.
OK, so those spring greens are cooked enough now.
Great! Is this local honey, Maryanne?
Yeah, it's very local, actually, Llanpumsaint.
And you're just balancing that savoury salt and sweet flavours out now, aren't you?
Yeah, cos it's gonna be pretty tasty with the bacon anyway
and you don't want too much honey. Just a little bit of sweetness.
Right, that's ready to go.
-That's about there, so two/three minutes to cook the tongue and then we'll be ready to plate up.
So how many per portion?
It's about three minutes, and to get it nice and warm right the way through and the crumbs crispy.
-Oh, now look, look... what's in this little Pandora's Box of loveliness?
And they've already called me that!
You are such a sad man!
-Does that look good?
That makes you really hungry!
Aw, little pinky-pots!
Dollop of mash...
and then a couple of bits of the tongue,
The cabbage is in a little cabbage-coloured pot!
Perfect! There we are!
We've got Welsh black beef cheeks with crispy ox tongue.
Spring greens, Carmarthenshire bacon, local honey.
And you're gonna headline it as...?
-Tongue in cheek!
Tongue in cheek, brill!
-Don't be cheeky! Look at that! That's...
When I say "beef's falling apart", that's falling apart!
-What can I say!
-That's beefy beef!
Mmm! The parsnip mash is fab.
The parsnip mash is interesting cos it sweetens the beef.
-I'm dying to taste this.
Aaw, that's fabulous!
Nice. It's a really subtle beef taste.
As much as the cheeks are super-charged beefy,
the honey and the bacon in the cabbage,
that's something I'll be doing at home.
It's all very well what we think but the real judges are the locals
who will decide whose dish is best in a blind-tasting, coming up.
Sue and Maryanne used some unusual cuts in their dish,
but you can see why they chose beef
in a county that's famous for its cattle.
Well, we're going to fight fire with fire and use beef too,
but we're gonna use the finest prime cuts.
We're off to see John James who has been rearing native Welsh black cattle all of his life.
-A very warm welcome.
It's a privilege to have you boys. Let me introduce you to my family.
Well, this is Daffyd, my eldest son, Hazel, my wife, and Daffyd's grandchildren.
-And Beth Ann, my daughter in law.
-And my third little grandson.
After living here for seven generations,
these are the eighth generation.
-Now that's a sense of place in history, isn't it, now?
-You're telling me!
And they're all raised on your Welsh black beef!
Well, yes. When you look at them, they look healthy, I look healthy,
Daffyd doesn't look as if he's starving, either!
-Shall we go to the field and let me show you the animals?
These are pedigree Welsh black cattle
and these are the native breeds of Wales.
They've survived for centuries on the hills and in the valleys,
on grass and grass alone.
That's one thing we can grow in Wales good, is grass...
and plenty of it!
A lot of land in this area are not ploughable,
so over the years it has developed the various grasses and herbs...
Wildflowers, so that gives then a distinct taste on the beef, then.
How many herd of cattle do you have?
It varies throughout the year but roughly about 80 herd of cattle.
-And it's a pure blood-line?
And that's what unique about them,
the traceability of the animals take you back over a thousand years.
It's not something that's just happened, it's historical.
These animals are the best converters of grass to meat.
I think that's summed up beef production in one line!
That's just brilliant.
"Best converters for grass into meat!" I'm gonna remember that.
-That's a corker!
-A little bird told us, John,
that your beef was judged the "Best Beef in Europe"?
Yes, well a couple of years ago
our fillet went to a taste competition in London
and our fillet was up against fillets
-of all other European breeds.
Now, to come out on top on that, with 12 Michelin chefs judging...
Congratulations, cos whatever you are doing, you're doing it right!
Right across the valley on the field over there
-you can see those black spots over there.
Those are our rearing heifers,
which will be put to the bull in about three months time.
Any chance of meeting the lucky fella?
-Cor, he's magnificent!
-He's a big lad, isn't he!
A bull is very important to any family, really
because it's half his herd,
because you rely on his calves to make you money.
-His pedigree name is Grygoll Berwyn.
Well, here we are.
The fillet of beef, this one has been reared on the farm.
It was three years old and it's been hanging for three weeks.
Twenty-one days! I've gotta say,
there's no challenge cooking this, it's a beautiful piece of meat!
-There we are, the very best to you.
-See ya! Thanks very much!
We've got something really special on our hands, here.
We'll use the fillet of Welsh black beef to make a classic Beef Wellington, served with broad beans,
baby turnips and a delicious onion gravy.
But, for the finishing touch,
we're after another great taste of Carmarthenshire.
We're off to visit Lynne Beard, and her herd of 240 goats.
She uses their milk to produce a range of goat's cheeses
all made entirely by hand.
These were kidded yesterday so she's got a baby girl, there.
I'll tell you what, there's a couple looks like me!
Got a goatee and everything!
All your goats are for milk, not meat?
They're all for milk, yeah, all milkers.
Somebody said you know all their names!
-Right, what's that one called with big ears?
-And the brown goat, very pretty!
-She's very, very pretty. That's Gilly.
They're like pets!
They hate being on their own. They stay in friendship groups.
The kids that they grow up with, they stay friends with them for life.
-The reason we moved from Kent to Wales
was because there's so much more grass in Wales
and the hay just smells absolutely wonderful
and it comes through in the product as well.
-Right. It seems to me that you love your goats?
As my husband will tell you, my goats come before everything.
Can you pick them up?
Yes, yeah, they love being picked up. He was born yesterday.
-Hold on, I've gotta pick up me jacket.
-Ooh, ooh, ooh! That's not your mammy!
He's hungry! Mum obviously hasn't fed them yet today!
Listen! Excuse me, excuse me! Oooh!
Are you itchy? Fine, goat!
I'm not your mammy!
-Where's your mum?
-D'you want a finger!
They love human company
and I always say, the love that you put into them when they're babies,
it lasts all their life.
-Do you make the cheese here on the farm?
-The cheese is made here.
It's all made on farm.
We do a very big range. We do from two day old goat's cheese
through to blue veins, we do feta-style,
so all in all we do about 15 varieties of goat's cheese.
-Vegetarian rennet's, culture, salt and that's all there is in it.
-It is! And what a beautiful, beautiful spot!
Look, there's Julie Andrews on that hill over there, isn't it!
The girls are ready so if you'd like to come and do some milking.
That's it, good girls.
It's amazing they know where to go, isn't it! I mean that's an...
and then guide
the teats into the end of her...
Here we are, darling!
Give them a comforting...
-I've got the milk flowing now, so I can leave that one alone.
I find the trust really quite special.
There's a very special bond between goat and milker.
Seeing the milk come out...aah!
Well done, doll, it's fab!
Fabulous! What a great thing to do!
It is, it is!
This is the Kinross. White rind, a little bit of colour on it as well
which you get in farmhouse cheeses
because we're not in such a sterile environment as you are in a factory.
-That is gorgeous!
It's not half as strong as I think you would expect from the appearance of the cheese.
It's crying out for that glass of port!
-Then you've got the Arsey Garsey which is a soft ripen, so it starts off as...
I love that! "Arsey Garsey!"
My dad always called hawthorn berries "arsey garsey"!
This is the one what you think of as being goats' cheese.
-It's a typical...
-Refined goat cheese.
-That's it. It develops lovely flavours, it's got a lovely aftertaste to it.
Then the Tallylass. You don't get many blue goat's cheeses, it's got lovely blue veining through it.
-Now this is the one I'm excited about!
-Mmm, it's not bad, even if I say so myself!
It starts off very mild and then there's just a little whoosh of the blue.
And then we've got the Ranscombe, which is semi-hard goats' cheese,
allowed to mature for about five to six weeks.
-That's fabulous, Lynn!
-That would be a good one for cooking with, wouldn't it?
-It cooks beautifully, goes into sauces.
-We know the goats now, we've milked the goats.
-That's it, you've been with the goats.
We know you, sitting here with this wonderful landscape,
you couldn't have a better restaurant in the world, could you?
-You couldn't really, no!
-And you've got the governor serving!
-We're lucky fellas!
OK, so what are you cooking?
We're cooking a Welsh Black Beef Wellington.
Served with mashed potato, infused with goats' cheese.
And lovely buttered baby turnips, all served with a thick, hearty gravy.
But will the local diners think our dish is good enough to beat Sue and Maryanne in the blind-tasting?
Now look, I'm gonna put some butter in the pot here
and then I'm going to add a little bit of Demerara sugar
and that just starts the caramelisation process off.
We want these onions to be well-caramelised,
cos when you do a Wellington, we're a bit stuck for meat juices.
If we're doing a roast, it's so easy to make the gravy
but we want to keep the integrity of the fillet
so we're kind of starting an onion gravy from scratch.
A little bit of salt, just gonna get them on, let them moulder away.
Kingy's gonna trim and skim.
The Beef Wellington, it needs to be surrounded by a cream mushroom,
a duxelle and mushroom, which is what I'm gonna get on and do.
-We've never done this in the restaurant, have we?
-Beef Wellington, no.
I think Beef Wellington can be a bit old-fashioned, but when it's done well, I think it's lush!
Now that should come off in a one-er!
Not bad! For the mushroom duxelle, some butter and some oil.
Sweat down, in this case, a shallot.
Look at it, man! It's a gorgeous thing, isn't it!
I must say, Mr King, that's beautifully butchered!
Now I'm just gonna rub some oil in. I'm just rolling this in some salt.
We're just gonna sear that off in a little bit of pepper.
Now my shallot, it's sweated to a point of apathy.
I'm gonna put in my mushrooms and I wanna sweat this down now as well.
I'm just gonna sear off this beef.
I'm gonna start at the ends first and just hold it up there, like that.
Have you cooked this dish before?
Actually, we've both cooked this independently at home.
-But it's not something we've ever cooked together.
It's quite nice as well.
We've obviously gone for extremes of the beef.
That's the most expensive and tenderest part of the animal
and we've gone for the bit that quite often gets thrown away.
That's got a nice finish on it now.
The mushrooms and the shallots have really moulded down
into a nice kind of mess, so I'm gonna put in the fried mushrooms.
They've been left to soak for about 20 minutes,
re-hydrated them, chopped them fine, throw them in.
-Use the dried mushroom juice.
-Has so much flavour, doesn't it?
Oh, yeah. And a splash of cream.
I need to cook that down until there's no liquid left.
I'm just de-glazing this pan with a little bit of local beer.
I'm just hoping to get all of those flavours out.
-You nearly took my hair off!
-Are you all right there?
-Ooh, I'm not sure, really!
That beer that you just used is made about three fields that way!
Yes, that's right, yeah! Ale named after the river! Lovely!
So, I'm gonna get on with these herb pancakes, so I'm gonna add an egg.
Now what we're doing is we're whisking a whole egg into that,
and then we're just adding the milk as we go.
We want that batter consistency.
We're gonna add some softened milk and butter and we're just gonna whisk that in as well.
The butter keeps it nice and elastic, so...
I'll try and keep it in the bowl, instead of getting it all over us, you know!
I'm gonna put some thyme, some chervil and some parsley.
For the duxelle,
the liquid's gone and I've got that lovely mushroomy mass and just put that in a bowl.
This has to be stone cold before we build the Wellington,
because otherwise it will just steam the pastry
and it will all go horribly wrong.
Now stir in some parsley
and now whip in an egg white.
So what do you use the egg white for, then?
That's to bind the duxelle.
Probably just to season a little bit.
This is the fillet of beef's overcoat, really!
I'm just gonna finish this pancake mixture off
by adding the fresh herbs.
-Very nice, yeah.
-That's supercharged mushrooms!
-Let that go a bit more!
-Oh, Kingy, every day is Shrove Tuesday in the House of the King!
-Will you stop calling me "Beefy-Cheeks!"
-Beefy-Cheeks can't half make a noise!
-Look at that!
-His crumpet, look at that, you know!
-Go on, toss it! Go on!
-Look at that!
Now because we need to make 433 of these...we don't really,
we need to make about eight, but they need to be stone-cold,
we've cooked some off before and they're on standby just here.
So you can see, the constituents of the Welsh black Wellington,
it's starting to happen!
This is a block of frozen puff pastry and we'll just start dusting-down.
Before you get stuck into that...
-I'll finish the gravy off and I'll put some dry powdered mustard
into the onion pan and then 450mls,
which is half this bottle of beer,
into the pan as well and then beef stock.
We're just gonna let that moulder away because we want that to reduce by half.
The pastry needs to be rolled out into a rectangular sheet.
We line that with pancakes.
It may sound crazy but I want a square edge.
-I like tidy food!
-Are you getting this dish? Are you frightened?
-Are you loving it?
-No, no, we're intrigued, so...
-Hold on, quality control!
-Check which one!
It's that one, I think!
-Oh, plastic-y layer!
-It's never the best!
Can you imagine the tasters! "There's plastic in mine, I'm not gonna have that!"
Right, so we've got the puff pastry, the pancakes, the chilled duxelle and mushrooms...
Mr Beef, goes on there.
Take a pallet knife and hopefully, if it hasn't got too hot,
you start rolling that up and making the beef roly-poly. Look at that!
I feel the heart of Wales beating in this!
So I'll just nip this. I'm really not worrying cos when we serve it,
we're gonna be slicing from the middle,
so the ends are kind of kitchen treats.
-That pretty important, you don't want anything leaking out that will go soft.
-No, not at all.
Leakage means disaster! Si, could you grease me an oven tray, please?
An oven tray, David?
-Should I give it a...?
-I think we should do it this end
-cos that's where the air's likely to be trapped.
Yeah, just there! Yeah, perfect. Then that end there.
So, that should do us, shouldn't it?
That should do us perfect!
That goes into a pre-heated oven,
moderate to hot, 180 degrees centigrade.
-So, not that much to do and we're nearly there!
Now we don't want lumpy mash.
-We're gonna pass the potatoes through a sieve.
What do you reckon, dude, what do you reckon?
Broad beans! Look!
I'm double-skinning them.
If your hand gets really tired, we'll give it a go for you.
Oh, thanks, my love, thank you!
I'm gonna saute some finely chopped shallots
and then we'll add the beans to that, hopefully.
Is that chicken stock?
Yes, it is chicken stock, yeah.
To this, I'm going to add the garlic butter.
That's garlic that has been slightly smashed and it's been infusing in the melted butter for six hours.
I tell, you won't be using this again for jam!
Now, give that a whisk-up.
We just need to combine that now with the garlic butter
and the pureed garlic.
To that, I'm gonna add some cream to loosen it up.
-Is that double cream?
-Yes, and some butter.
Mash that all together and we're gonna warm that on the heat,
check the seasoning and crumble in the goats' cheese.
Beef's done! Look at that little darling!
-Golden and lovely.
-It looks lovely.
And totally intact!
Here we go.
I hope that will do. Right, I'm just letting that cheese melt in.
I'm just gonna pass this gravy, just to strain it off.
It's part of your personality, Kingy, cos he likes his rustic duxelle sauce.
You see, I'm quite happy, I'd just chuck that on.
It's a paradox!
Beefy-Cheeks, you're a paradox!
Will you cut that out!
I'm just gonna add some chervil to this and the chervil goes brilliantly with the goats' cheese.
-Little baby swedes here.
Saute these off.
Shall I start serving the Wellington, Kingy?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely, Dave!
That's looking good!
That's good beef!
-It looks really nice!
-Yeah, it does.
I'm now gonna put the broad beans into our gem lettuce and just stir it through.
-So it literally just sort of wilts the lettuce?
Aye, just pool it a bit there.
So that's our tribute to Carmarthenshire.
It's a Welsh black-beef Beef Wellington.
With local goats' cheese mash, and little baby butter sauteed turnips.
-With broad beans.
-Oh, yes! I'm looking forward to this!
-Now there's no pressure!
It's such good beef, you don't have to chew that!
No, that's great and the mushrooms, lovely as well.
Really nice flavour from that, and the mash,
it's quite subtle, but no, delicious, and smooth.
-Your hard work paid off, obviously!
-Aw, thank you very much.
-Let's try these broad beans.
Mmm, no, that's really good.
-This is lovely as well!
-Yeah, that's great!
It's crunch time.
The diners here will taste both dishes, but without any idea of who cooked which.
First up is Sue and Maryanne's braised beef cheek and crispy ox tongue with spring greens.
Well, I thought the presentation was a bit plain,
but when you started to eat the cheek, the flavours were exquisite.
The spring greens with the bacon go really well with the tongue
and the parsnip mash was delicious!
The components are definitely of the county.
The high point was tongue, cos I've never tasted it before.
To cut it was a bit of an effort but when I chewed it, it was really tender.
When I cut into the beef,
it was all soft and just fell off the knife and it just melted.
The cheek was gorgeous, it was beautiful!
We love our beef here in Carmarthenshire and it's ideal to see the whole of the beef being utilised.
Oh, some glowing reviews there.
What will they think of our dish? Fingers crossed!
When it first came out to the table,
my taste buds started to go into overdrive immediately.
I just wish I'd had the plate to myself!
That's exactly my sort of meal.
Very eye-appealing, beautiful variety of aromas.
Initially I thought it looked very French.
Once you actually tucked into the beef,
then you realised the quality of it.
I don't think it could be anything else apart from Welsh beef.
I like my beef charcoaled, I don't like it like that,
but I thought, "I've got to try it,"
and I'm glad I did cos I could taste it more.
Hello, there, how are you?
Hello! Thank you very much for coming.
We've had a fantastic time in Carmarthenshire.
You've got everything, the coast, the pastures, the mountains...
And Dylan Thomas had a big influence here an' all, didn't he?
His good health... Ay-hay, good lad, good lad!
-No, you're a lucky lot!
-OK, now down to the nitty-gritty of it all, really.
For the Welsh Black Beef Cheeks, can I have a show of hands, please?
One, two, three, four, five. Thank you.
For the Beef Wellington, can I have a show of hands, please?
One, two, three, four. Thank you.
The Welsh Black Beef Cheeks was the ladies' dish!
-Thank you very much!
Well, I think all that remains for us to do is to thank you all very much for coming,
-especially, though, thanks, Sue and Maryanne, for letting us into your wonderful restaurant.
Thank you very much, thank you.
Well, Sue and Maryanne deserved that win because they did a great job
with some really unusual cuts of beef.
We've had a great time eating our way around Carmarthenshire
and we'll definitely be back!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Si and Dave explore Carmarthenshire, where they cook a traditional county favourite in the National Botanic Garden of Wales. They go cockling at Laugharne and source cheese from a happy herd of goats. Finally, they face the challenge of a cook-off against top chefs Sue Manson and Maryann Wright. Restaurant diners decide who has created the best taste of Carmarthenshire in a blind tasting.