Monday, 17 October 2011

Welsh Laverbread Vegetable Suet Pudding

Yesterday there was a glimmer of sun shine in the skies, but this morning it was snatched away as the rainfall came back with a vengeance, bashing hard on the window panes.  I have to say, weather wise it has been pretty dreadful here.  The past few months it has really felt like we've been living in a permanent puddle.

So like most people, feeling the cold, I longed for something rich and hearty.  The kind of grub that sticks to the ribs.  I looked in my store cupboard at the dwindling food supplies and my eyes fell upon a packet of vegetable suet (suitable for vegetarians and vegans), and a tin of Welsh Laverbread (cooked seaweed).  Immediately I was inspired to make some suet puddings.   I think the last time I made some was last year.
Traditionally steamed suet puddings contain meat.  Of course you will not find any meat in these.  In fact the filling in these steamed savoury puddings is very similar to the Welsh Laverbread Pies: containing mushrooms and Puy lentils.  Oh before I forget to mention it, I also put a teaspoon of seaweed into the suet pastry for visual effect. 
Welsh Laverbread Suet Pudding
Makes around 6, maybe 7 mini steamed puddings
Ingredients for the Laverbread, Mushroom filling

200g Portobello mushrooms
1 generous tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon plain flour
100ml vegetable stock
50g Puy lentils, cooked

100g - 120g Welsh 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. 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. 

For the Suet Pudding
300g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
100g vegetable suet
Cold water

For the suet pudding
Mix all the dry ingredients and the herbs in a large bowl. Mix in enough cold water to make a firm dough.

Divide the dough into 6 - 7 pieces, roll the pastry out on a well-floured work surface, to about 3mm thick circles that are big enough to fill the pudding basin with a small overhand. Line the pudding bowls with the pastry, gently easing it round the sides for a snug fit.
Divide the filling between the pudding basins. The filling should be 1cm below the rim. Take each pudding in turn and with a sharp knife trim off the excess pastry level with the rim. Re-roll this excess pastry and cut out 5 circles big enough to cover the tops. Place the pastry tops on top of the filling and press the edges together to make a firm seal. Trim off any excess. *My pudding basins have lids, but if yours do not, cover with foil and tie with a jute string. Then place the puddings into a large steamer. Cover with the lid and steam for for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked.
Leave to cool for a few minutes and then ease a small knife around each pudding and turn them out.


  1. I like laverbread & these sound really lovely- thank you for the recipe!

  2. Oh boy how I love your writing style, sweet lady! :) I'm a lazy cook these days. I just can't concentrate on one thing for a long time. So I let my father cook and he happily invents new vegan meals. I just admire how brilliantly he cooks. And he's so kind to make me vegan food. He's an omnivore, but totally respects my choice and even cooks vegan for me, how cool is that?! He just experiments, you know. You're like this, too, I think. But I can't experiment, I always follow a recipe. Maybe some day when I feel more confident, I will. But I think should make pumpkin soup some day soon. That's easy and when I start cooking it's usually quite enjoyable.

  3. FABULOUS recipe and photos, love these little puds!

  4. Well these are really different aren't they! I am intrigued as I have never had laverbread, although I have used vegetable suet before. If I see some I may just have to try this.

  5. Thank you Thrifty Household.

    Lela, you are so kind. I don't feel very inspired these days, so its funny that you are enjoying my writing. I get bored easy with same food ,so have always liked experimenting with vegetables. Right now though, I am trying to use up things in my cupboards too.

    I am so happy to read that your Pa does a lot of the home cooking. You know what, you should get him to set his own little blog :0 )
    It can have meals he eats and vegan meals he creates for you - just an idea.

    It is with time that i have become confident in cooking experimentally. At the start I would always follow recipes, except those my mother taught me that I knew by heart. Older I get the more confident I am, I know you will be too in time. Take care x

  6. Thank you Karen.

    Thanks Janice.
    Yes, they certainly are - the experimental cook in me likes to try and sometimes it works out good. Laverbread is an acquired taste. I find it quite strong on its own - fishy like - not so much the taste, but the smell. I do hope you find some, though it may mean travelling to Wales for some, as I have never seen it anywhere else :)

  7. always a pleasure to learn about new dishes - looks delicious! thanks for sharing

  8. Thank you Now Serving . Good to hear from you.

  9. Hehe, the blog is a good idea, but unfortunately he can't speak English and we don't have a good camera to make beautiful pictures of food. And he doesn't like Internet very much anyways.

    But I can sometimes share some of his recipes on my blog. The only problem would be making pictures. I don't want to add a recipe without a picture or with a blurry image.

    Maybe yes, some day I'll be a good cook.

  10. Lela.
    Your Pa doesn't need to speak english. He can still write in your 'mother tongue' and when people come on your blog, there is usually an automatic option to translate into other languages. So do encourage him, anyway. He doesn't haver to post every day either. The blog shuld be a pleasurable thing to do. Also don't worry so much about the quality of photos, yes it helps but its not always about pictures, but real homely food. When I started my blog pictures were not that fab, only got better in time with a good camera that was a wedding present. Anyway, its good that you can share his recipes.

  11. I can ask him if he's interested. If not, I can share some of his recipes myself.

  12. Can I leave out the laverbread? Is there something I could use instead? I really fancy a 'suet' pud this weekend.

  13. Morning AJ.
    I understand.
    Of course you can leave it out. You could try putting in some cooked, minced spinach if you so wish. Check out this one (see link below) which may be more to your taste.

  14. What a nice blog, so many creative recipes.


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