Cockles are one of the most delicious shellfish and yet hardly anyone knows that; they are usually swamped in malt vinegar and all their delicate yumminess is totally lost – and as they have often been overcooked it’s like eating pickled rubber. Cockles are actually small saltwater clams – now who would treat a clam in that way? We used to dig for cockles when we were at the seaside, cook them as you might mussels, then eat them with bread and butter and maybe a dash of pepper. I once had cockle soup in Ireland, it was delicious, absolutely delicious…

I came across a recipe for cockle pie – which is more like cockle murder: – take a pint of cockles and cook in vinegar for about ten minutes… cook in vinegar?? cook in vinegar??? Good grief, those poor little freshwater clams! The recipe continues that they should be stirred into parsley sauce,, poured into an ovenproof dish, covered with slices of raw tomato and breadcrumbs, then cooked in the oven for a further fifteen minutes… I think this is a recipe I won’t be trying!

So what about the surprise casserole which appears in the same book? Lamb cooked with red currant jelly, lemon juice,  mushroom ketchup, chopped onion and a pint of gravy… This sounds like the sort of thing we used to make when we were students and had acquired some going-cheap lamb and then threw in whatever else we found in the stock cupboard… another recipe which I will not add to my collection!

5 thoughts on “Cockle pie and surprise casserole

  1. Sounds like a dreadful cookbook Ychyfi! Cockles here are normally a breakfast dish served with bacon and laverbread. Fry the bacon first, good fatty bacon, turn the cockles in the bacon fat until they’re warmed through then heat up the laverbread in the remaining bacon fat. Mmmmmmmmm 😊

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