This British-American Life in the Kitchen: Glamorgan Sausages

Don’t get your hopes up, carnivores.  They may be called sausages, but there is not one gram of meat in any of them.  But that does not mean you will be deprived of deliciousness.

A glamorgan sausage is a croquette traditionally made of Caerphilly cheese, mustard, and leeks and coated with breadcrumbs.  A traditional dish of Wales, I wanted us to celebrate that part of the family’s heritage by making it. The surname of Clan Boffin is Welsh, but it isn’t Jones, the most popular one. I tell people to keep up with us, if they want to lower their standards.

I am going to bang on about cheese again because it is the most important component of the meal. Caerphilly is a fatty cow’s milk cheese named after the town in Wales in which it was sold. It melts well and has a nice tang at the end. If you look at a cross-section of it, you can see that it is dry in the middle, but creamy around the edge.

See the løveli layers!
                                                                           See the løveli layers!

So, for those of us in the States, how do we get a hold of this marvel? Well, I special ordered it through Whole Foods. It took four months to get here. And it can cost up to $30/lb.  (I got it down to $20/lb because it took so long.)

And you have every right to say, “Hell, no! The Caerphilly fell off your cracker!”

Fortunately, you can get domestic Caerphilly, if you live around my parts in Chicagoland, or you can easily substitute with any meltable cheese of your choice. You can combine cheeses like a sharp cheddar with Gruyere or mozzarella. Trader Joe’s has Collier’s Welsh cheddar.  If you just want to grab a bag of shredded stuff to make your life easier, go for it.

I wanted to make it as authentic as possible in my own weirdly anal middle-class way, OK?

Anyway, I used (stole) Felicity Cloake’s recipe from the Guardian and was quite pleased with the results.  It was quite simple to make.  There is no need to drag out the deep fat fryer or the chip pan.  And you get cheesy goodness in a different form than just ordering a pizza.

Yes, it always comes back to cheese.  Yes, I have issues.

Glamorgan Sausages (Vegetarian, Kosher Dairy)

(Makes 12)
4 oz or 100g butter
7 oz or 200g leeks, finely sliced (about 2 large ones UK or 2 medium ones US)
(More like blitzed in the food processor because I am lazy)
Nutmeg, to taste
12 oz or 340g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 eggs, separated
1 tbsp English or Dijon mustard
(To head off British protest, English Mustard can be hard to find here. Dijon may have to do.)
12.5 oz or 350g caerphilly or cheese of your choice
4 tbsp milk
4 oz or 100g flour

Melt half the butter in a frying pan and sweat the leeks over a medium heat until well softened. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Mix 200g (7 oz) breadcrumbs with the thyme, and beat the egg yolks and mustard together. Crumble the cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and stir in the leeks, followed by the egg yolks and mustard. Season, mix well and add the milk.

Shape into twelve sausages and chill for half an hour. If you have made matzo balls before, you would know this trick. Dip your hands into water before shaping, so your hands don’t get sticky.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark four. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Put the egg whites, flour and remaining breadcrumbs on separate plates, and roll each sausage in the flour, then whites, then breadcrumbs to coat.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausages and cook until just golden on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes, until richly golden and softened. Serve immediately.

It goes well with a side salad, and your body will be crying for vegetables.  The Boffin was happy drinking a dry, hard cider with his meal.

I was going to take a picture, but I figured if you really wanted to see an image of someone’s dinner, you probably have a friend on Facebook or Instagram who could serve that function for you.  I felt like enough of a dork setting up blue wrapping paper backdrop to take a photo of a block of cheese earlier.


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