Penclawdd is a village in Swansea, which is famous for its historic cockle picking industry. In fact, during my time experimenting with cockle laverbread recipe, for Britain’s Best Home Cook, my father, one of my chief tasters, revealed that my great great grandmother had actually worked as a cockle picker in Penclawdd. There’s actually a picture of her on my fridge in the kitchen on the show!
When I found out that I needed to make a pie I immediately knew that I wanted to make a cockle, laverbread and bacon pie as I wanted to champion our wonderful Welsh produce. However, when I tried it out on the kids, they were not at all impressed, so I added the chicken and mushroom, mellowing the flavour.
I have used Perl Las again in my pie, which with the laver bread adds a depth of flavour, but go easy with both, adding just a little at a time, they should not be the main flavour but only a seasoning.
1 quantity of rough puff pastry
2 garlic cloves
150g smoked streaky bacon
50g fresh cooked cockles
300g chicken thighs skinless & boneless
50g mixed dried mushrooms
200 ml fresh chicken stock
20g blue cheese of choice (I use Perl Las)
150ml Single Cream
1. Preheat the oven to 190 C fan.
2. Finely slice the shallot, dice the bacon and mince the garlic.
3. Dice the chicken and slice the mushrooms.
4. Melt the butter and cook the shallot and bacon gently until caramelized.
5. Add the chicken and mushrooms and brown.
6. Increase the heat.
7. Add the flour and cook.
8. Add the stock.
9. Add the cream and cheese to taste (a little at a time, you may not need all of it) and stir.
10. Add the laver bread (to taste a little at a time, you may not need it all) and cockles and season (you may not need salt).
11. Put the filling in the pie dishes. Leave to cool (ideally the filling should be put in the fridge for at least an hour).
12. Egg wash the lip of the pie dish. Put a strip of pastry. around the top of the pie dish, then egg wash.
13. Roll the rest of the pastry over the pie.
14. Seal the edge and crimp with your thumb.
15. Cut a hole in the top of the pastry.
16. Repeat with the other pies.
17. Egg wash.
18. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
The pastry on this pie rises much better when the filling is cold so it can be prepared the day before, it can even be assembled and left in the fridge, making it a breeze if making them for people coming over.
Store-bought puff pastry would make this recipe super easy... I promise not to tell!!