Thursday, 21 February 2013

We are the pigs - Recipe for Tatws Pum Munud

Martin Player Butchers, Cardiff. Back Bacon
Martin Player Butchers, Cardiff. Back Bacon

Sometimes a really simple recipe is what is needed. Don't get me wrong, mastering a complex dish, or a recipe in an unfamiliar cuisine is hugely satisfying, but there's something about the alchemy of taking 4 or so ingredients and conjuring something tasty and frugal that is joyful. Here is one of my favourite storecupboard recipes requiring just potatoes, onions, stock and bacon.

Finding great bacon isn't easy. Pop a supermarket rasher into a dry frying pan and you end up with a puddle of water which boils the meat rather than frying it (whether labelled as 'dry cure' or not). For great bacon, you might take advantage of your local farmers market, in Cardiff, Riverside Market is a good Sunday morning out. It should still be an economical purchase but being able to get a good caramelisation on the meat and a crisp rind makes all the difference.

Here in Cardiff we also have Martin Player Butchers in Whitchurch. This is a butcher where provenance is king. Every supplier is carefully chosen. Their bacon is amazingly good, a world away from even the 'finest' of the supermarket stuff and this recipe makes the best of it.

I got this recipe, shortly after moving to Cardiff, from my boyfriend's mother, the daughter of a farm labourer in Carmarthenshire where this was a traditional meal. I now understand that it was often eaten in winter when root vegetables and cured bacon might be what was available. It is called Tatws Pum Munud or Five Minute Potatoes, but as you will see, this is a bit of misnomer.

Tatws Pum Munud (Serves 2)
  • Potatoes - 4 medium, thinly sliced
  • Onions - 1 medium, thinly sliced
  • Back Bacon - 4 rashers, diced
  • Stock (whichever you fancy, I mainly use chicken) - about 300ml or so
Tatws Pum Munud, ready to cook
Tatws Pum Munud, ready to cook
  1. Fry the bacon well in a deep frying pan or chefs pan, let it 'catch' a little on the bottom of the pan
  2. Remove the bacon leaving the fat behind, then add the onions to soften for a few minutes
  3. Add the sliced potatoes and plenty of black pepper (no salt needed!) to the pan and mix through, then scatter the bacon over the top
  4. Add the stock so that it comes a centimetre or two below the bacon
  5. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and most of the liquid is gone
Bacon, potatoes and onions - ready to eat!
Bacon, potatoes and onions - ready to eat!

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