Monday, 10 October 2011

Welsh Laver Bread Pies

I was watching a repeat episode of Rick Steins 'Food Heroes' on T.V and he was somewhere in Wales, U.K.  I think it was in Carmathenshire.  I’m not 100% certain.  Anyway, he was in a pub and tucking into a  'Meaty Steak and Laverbread Pie'.   

As a Welsh girl with a voracious appetite for vegetable based cuisine, it occurred to me why not create a vegetarian variation of this seaweed pie.  Well why not? and without intending to sound to boastful I have been quite successful in creating a Welsh Laver Bread Veggie Burger ; Laverbread Oat Biscuits at home, as well as Welsh Glamorgan Pakora Bites based on Glamorgan sausages; and Leek and Caerphilly Cheese Pakoras.   So the kitchen culinary experiments began at the weekend. This was also a good opportunity for me use up one of the laver bread tins my nephew brought me up, still in date (2014).   For those of you unfamiliar with Welsh Laver Bread, please follow this link - but in a nutshell its cooked seaweed - a vegetable of the sea!
I have to say I was real chuffed with the result.  Not only did I decide to include seaweed in the pie filling, I also decided to incorporate some in the hot water pastry.

When you slice into it with your knife, the smell of the laver bread hits you first as it is quite strong, but the flavour not so strong.  In fact, you will fidn yourself saying, 'where is the 'fishy' laver bread?!  Believe me it in there, its flavour enhancing both the meaty texture of the mushrooms and pebble dash Puy lentils.

I appreciate that not everyone will be able to find/access Welsh Laver bread after all it is a specialist ingredient, so you will be pleased to note that this recipe can also be made without it if you so wish.  I am sharing some of these Seaweed Pies with Just Another Meatless Monday#79 hostd by Hey What's for Dinner Mom?; and Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays #51 hosted by Midnight Maniac.

Welsh Laverbread, Mushroom and Puy Lenti Pie
Makes 1 large pie or 8 – 10 individual pies
Ingredients for the filling
300g Portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon plain flour
175ml vegetable stock
100g Puy lentils, cooked

120 - 150g laver bread
Salt and pepper to taste
Wipe clean the mushrooms. Slice or quarter each mushroom. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions until soft and translucent, but not brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute before adding in the mushrooms. Keep the heat high and cook the mushrooms, stirring frequently until softened.
Gradually add the flour and stir until evenly combined.

Add the vegetable stock and stir, over high heat until the sauce thickens, before stirring in the puy lentils and laverbread. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature
Hot Water Pastry
Makes 8 - 10 individual pies or  one large 7 - 8 inch round cake tin
Optional: 1 teaspoon of rehydrated hijiki  seaweed
325g plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
100g vegetable fat - I use Trex
175ml water
Olive oil for glazing
For the hot water pastry, mix together the dry ingredients.
Melt the fat in the water and heat until about to boil.
Add the liquid to the flour, along with the rehydrated hijiki and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.

Now you have to work very quickly with your hands, as the dough will get cold and be tough to work with.
With your fingers mould a ball of pastry into the shape of the individual muffin holes leaving a bit of the pasty overlapping over, but not too much.
Then fill with the cooled filling, press in well.
Roll out the remaining dough, and using a cookie cutter about the size of the muffin hole, cut out required number of lids.

Place over the pastry filling tops, push over the overlapped pastry and gently fork so seal the casing. Brush with  oil and make a small steam hole in each pie.
Bake in preheated oven Gas mark 6 for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.


  1. I just can't get the hang of laverbread. It's just not to my taste at all. But I don't like sushi much either. Odd - because I'm very fond of fish (sorry - I'm an omnivore) but seaweed just doesn't float my boat!

  2. I love the expression on your gorgeous Welsh dragon's face! :-) He looks so enthusiastic about these fantastic pies... :-) I love cooking with seaweed, and I was just looking at my supply of seaweed in the pantry and thinking it was high time I made something new with it... and ta da, you gave me the perfect answer! :-) Thank you!! :-)

  3. They look soooo beautiful! And I'm sure the taste is great. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

  4. I must say that I love this red dragon! I'm a big fantasy fan, so dragons are so cool in my opinion. And I haven't said yet that the new font is great. :)

  5. I remember that episode. Used to watch a lot of Mr Stein as I'm a bit of a salty sea-dog fisherman at heart and wanted to learn how to cook what (if) I caught.

    Wish I lived nearer a beach where this stuff was. I'll try and see if I can get hold of some and give it a go.

  6. scrumptiously tasty n incredible..
    awesome presentation..
    u r welcome in my space too..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  7. Thank you MorningAJ.
    It is an acquired taste. I wasn't that keen on it, but perservered and now don't mind it so much. I like sushi, that's veggie sushi by the way. I have a recipe to make with hijiki seaweed soon, so I have a feeling you won't like that either - but thats okay, we can't like every veg on earth :)

    Thank you Astra.
    Yeah I like him too, a gift to me from the nephew :-)
    I am looking forward to your seaweed dish.

    Thank you vegandivision.

  8. Thank you Lela.
    Ah pleased to read that your loving my little red dragon! I'm playing around with the font at the moment, I like it as it is the same as my blog header :) Its not a font option on blogger, so I am not too sure how to make it permanant part of the blog language as I have to keep cutting and pasting text.

    Thanks Chris.
    I too wish i lived nearer a beach where this seaweed was growing. Part of me also wants to learn more about foraging for edible seaweed.

    Thank you Jay.

  9. This looks fab, would creamed spinach work as a laverbread subsitute?


  10. Thank you Shaz,
    Yes, creamed spinach would be a excellent subsitute. I do hope you like it, if you get round to making it.

  11. oh! such delicious food in here...
    need to come back and do some reading ...
    i would also love to try some of your recipes : )
    thanks for visiting my blog...

  12. This looks great! Thank you for leaving your kind comments on my blog. First time here, you have a lovely blog. Now following you :)

  13. Amazing!
    Im glad to have found your blog. I have just put in lots of vegie patches so I need lots of good recipies. Thanks!

  14. I have been working my way through your blog archives and my mouth is watering!! So many new and exciting recipes to try! A pumpkin sitting on my windowsill is CRYING out to be made into scones! Cx

  15. Trovo sia una ricetta molto interessante, proprio bello il risultato finale... un abbraccio e buonissima serata

  16. Thank you Demie.
    : )

    Thank you so, so much Ambreen.

    Thanks Amber.
    I hope your veggie patches reward you well. You'll certainly find lots of recipes here!

  17. Thanks Catherine.
    I hope that pumpkin of yours magically transforms into something edible.

    Thank you so much Marifra79.
    For your lovely comment.

  18. Oh yum. I love puy lentils and mushrooms and pies, so this would be perfect! AND, I just finished reading Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman, so has been on my mind for the last 700 pages!

  19. Thanks Lauren.
    Haven't heard of Here Be Dragons, will have to look it up.

  20. Oh how interesting. I have never made laver bread before and had no idea that it could be used in pastry!

  21. Thanks Hannah.

    I've actually used hijiki seaweed in the pastry, not the laverbread. The laverbread would work okay though, I am sure of it. Just go easy on the quantity.

  22. I somehow managed to leave out "Wales" in my comment. Here Be Dragons is the first of three books about Wales and England in the 13th century. Llywelyn Fawr is one of the main characters.

  23. Looking through your blog is giving me extreme food envy! These look especially good and I'm not even a big fan of mushrooms!

  24. Thank you so much Heather.
    Its lovely to make your acquaintance. Also thank you so so much for becoming a follower. I am presently with family in Wales, so will not be back to blogging until next week. Once again, thank you for your lovely comment.

  25. I love pies and this sounds intriguing!

  26. Lentils and mushrooms are such a great combo. I've never had anything like this before, but it looks wonderful!

  27. These look like a really hearty pie, perfect for these cold, chilly days. Love the flavour combinations here!

    Sus //


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