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One of Wales’s famous dishes is Tawts Popty. Its Welsh name translates to ‘oven potatoes’ and lends itself to be the medicine for those cold wintery nights. In this guide, I’ll give some background on the dish and share my own recipe from growing up in Pembrokeshire.
What is Tatws Popty?
Tawts Popty, also known as ‘Welsh Oven Potatoes’, is a dish made with layered vegetables (potato, leek, and onion), oven baked in rich beef stock, and topped with cheese and seasoning. It is very easy to prepare and only requires some basic knife skills.
Its other nickname, ‘Five Minute Cawl’ comes from the many similar ingredients it shares with Welsh Cawl, however, it is cooked in the oven rather than in a pan or slow cooker so it takes around half the time.
Each household will have its own way of preparing the dish. Some may add other vegetables such as carrots or swede, whereas others may include meat. Tatws Popty can be served as a meal in its own right, or used as a side dish.
A slice of crusty bread and a dash of Worcestershire sauce is a common addition to serve with Tawts Popty, a perfect way to finish this tasty Welsh dish.
Tatws Popty RecipeCourse: MainCuisine: WelshDifficulty: Easy
5 Large Potatoes
3 Large Onions
200g Welsh Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Thyme to Season
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Start by washing and peeling your potatoes, onion, and leek and cut into around 2cm thin slices.
- In your oven dish arrange your vegetables into alternate lines of potato, leek, and onion until your dish is full. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Make up your vegetable stock in a jug and pour over your layers about halfway not filling over the top of the potatoes. You want to keep the top of your bake dry, so you end up with a crispy top and moist bottom.
- Cover the top of your bake with foil and place in the oven at 180°C and bake for 20-25 minutes until it is crispy on top.
- Five minutes before your bake is ready to serve, remove from the oven and cover with grated Welsh cheese. Put back in the oven or grill and leave to brown before ready to serve.
- To make Welsh oven potatoes, you’ll need a chopping board, a sharp knife, a jug, and an oven dish.
- If the top of your potatoes starts to brown too early, cover them with foil for 5-10 minutes to burning,
Why Are My Tatws Popty Not Crispy?
If your Tatws Popty is not crispy, you may have too much stock in the bottom of your bake. When prepping your potatoes, remember not to overfill your dish, only fill up to around 2cm of stock. You can also bake under the grill for 5-10 minutes on medium heat to crisp up your potatoes.
Is Tatws Popty Vegetarian?
No, Tawts Popty is not vegetarian because it has beef stock in it. However, you can easily swap this for vegetable stock to make it suitable for vegetarians. You can swap the cheese on top for plant-based cheese to make it suitable for vegans too.
What to Serve Tatws Popty With?
Serve Tawts Popty with a shoulder of lamb to make this a meal. This is a common addition to this dish, baking your potatoes as normal but adding your meat and then baking in the oven to cook the meat. It is also great served with crusty bread and cheese or alongside Welsh Cawl as a side dish.
Natalya is a Welsh chef from the small town of Tenby on the south coast of Wales. With 17 years of experience as a professional chef, Natalya is passionate about Welsh cuisine and loves to use local produce in her dishes. As well as running her family-run business, Lemon & Lime Kitchen, she, and her wife sell their small online bakery produce on Etsy!