A Forgotten Skills of Welsh Cookery Course is now available at the Penycae Inn.

Just in time for St Davids day the course is a full day including lunch & light refreshments.

Starting at 9am on Tuesdays throughout March, arrival & introductions are carried out with coffee & croissants to kick of your culinary course in style & comfort. 

A busy morning of preparation & cooking then takes place leading nicely up to lunch, where you can sample your efforts in the comfort of our restaurant. Back in to the kitchen for an afternoon of baking followed by afternoon tea with your star bakes to taste.
You will learn to make traditional farmhouse recipes handed down for generations, these dishes include:
Soda Bread

Lamb Cawl

Bara Brith 

Welsh Cakes

Welsh Lamb Cawl: 

Prep time

10 mins

Cook time

3 hours

Total time

3 hours 10 mins


Cawl is a thrifty traditional Welsh soup dish, full of tradition – recipes are often passed down through families. It is a very simple soup made from a cheap cut of bone-in red meat stewed slowly with winter root vegetables, with leeks added at the end.

Recipe type: Soup / Stew
Cuisine: Welsh

Serves: 5-6


* Welsh butter / olive oil

* 600g of diced lamb shoulder with bones 

* Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

* 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

* 2 carrots, peeled and cubed

* 2 parsnips, peeled and diced

* 2 small turnips, cleaned (you can leave skin on) and diced

* 1 small swede, peeled and diced

* 2 leeks, thinly sliced

* A few sprigs of thyme or parsley

* To serve: Bread, butter and a hunk of strong cheese – Caerphilly or cheddar.

1. Heat a large deep pan on the stove with a smidge of butter or oil. Sprinkle the lamb with a little salt and pepper, then sear in the pan until browned on all sides – this step is not essential but gives the soup a deeper flavour.

2. Add 2 litres of water to the pan, and bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer and add all root vegetables – except the leeks. Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, or till the meat is so tender it falls apart. As the fat from the meat rises to the top of the pan you can skim it if you like.

3. Twenty minutes before you are ready to serve, add the leeks to the pan.

4. When the Cawl is ready, take out the bone. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

5. With the rich flavour of the meat you need to season the soup carefully, so do taste before you add more salt. Finally, sprinkle with fresh thyme or parsley for a pop of colour and flavour, and serve in deep bowls.


* Lamb neck can be used along with other cuts – such as shoulder or even shanks, but a better taste is achieved when the bone goes in the stew too.

Bara brith

Preparation time


Cooking time

1 to 2 hours


Makes 1 cake

Bara brith (literally “mottled bread”) is sometimes made with yeast but not traditionally.


* 450g/1lb dried mixed fruit

* 250g/9oz brown sugar

* 300ml/½ pint warm black tea

* 2 tsp mixed spice

* 450g/1lb self-raising flour

* 1 free-range egg, beaten


1. In a large bowl soak the fruit and sugar in strained tea and leave overnight.

2. Next day preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

3. Mix the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture and beat well.

4. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake the oven and bake for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Classic Welsh cakes

Preparation time

less than 30 mins

Cooking time

less than 10 mins


Makes approx. 4-6 cakes


* 225g/8oz self-raising flour, sieved

* 110g/4oz (preferably Welsh) salted butter

* 1 free-range egg

* handful of sultanas

* milk, if needed

* 85g/3oz caster sugar

* extra butter, for greasing


1. Rub the fat into the sieved flour to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, dried fruit and then the egg. Mix to combine, then form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed. 

2. Roll out the pastry until it is a 5mm/¼in thick and cut into rounds with a 7.5-10cm/3-4in fluted cutter. 

3. You now need a bakestone or a heavy iron griddle. Rub it with butter and wipe the excess away. Put it on to a direct heat and wait until it heats up, place the Welsh cakes on the griddle, turning once. They need about 2-3 minutes each side. Each side needs to be caramel brown before turning although some people I know like them almost burnt. 

4. Remove from the pan and dust with caster sugar while still warm. Some people leave out the dried fruit, and split them when cool and sandwich them together with jam.

Soda Bread 


* 170g/6oz self-raising wholemeal flour

* 170g/6oz plain flour

* ½ tsp salt

* ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

* 290ml/½ pint buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.

2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.

3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)

4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.

5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.

6. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.


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