The earliest reference anyone has been able to find to these Welsh vegetable croquettes is apparently a line by the nineteenth-century English author, translator, and traveler George Borrow in his book Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery, vintage 1862. After spending the night at a raucous inn at “Gutter Vawr” (the Welsh mining town formerly called Y Gwter Fawr and since renamed Brynamman), he descends from his room for a morning meal. “The breakfast was delicious,” he reports, “consisting of excellent tea, buttered toast, and Glamorgan sausages, which I really think are not a whit inferior to those of Epping.” Interestingly, he doesn’t mention that they contain no meat (Epping sausages are pork sausages flavored with assorted herbs, often cooked without casings). Glamorgan, in far southern Wales, is one of the thirteen original Welsh counties, and was once a small kingdom of its own. These sausages—which were originally a farm family’s meat substitute—are said to have been named not for the county but for the cheese made from the milk of Glamorgan cattle, an old Welsh breed now almost extinct.
Recipe courtesy of cookbook The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales by Colman Andrews. Click here to purchase your own copy.
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium leek, white part only, very thoroughly washed and very finely chopped
- 1 scallion, trimmed and very finely chopped
- 2 Cups coarse bread crumbs
- 8 Ounces Caerphilly or Welsh cheddar, grated
- leaves from 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 Tablespoon whole milk
- 1/4 Cup clarified butter
- 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the leek and scallion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the leek and scallion mixture, about three-quarters of the bread crumbs, the cheese, the thyme, the parsley, and the mustard. Season generously with salt and pepper, then stir in the egg yolks and the milk and mix the ingredients together thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 1 hour.
Shape the mixture into 8 to 12 sausage shapes, about 2 inches (5 cm) thick and 4 inches (10 cm) long.
Heat the clarified butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sift the flour onto a plate and spread the remaining bread crumbs out on another plate. Roll each sausage in flour, dip it in the egg whites, then roll it in bread crumbs.
Fry the sausages for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are golden-brown on all sides. The sausages may be served hot or at room temperature.