High quality cider is very much in vogue and some interesting single varieties are being made in all cider-making areas. Once again, as in with previous generations, cider is making a welcome appearance at the dinner table as an alternative to wine. The appley aroma and full rounded flavours of oak and tanins make it an excellent accompaniment for any meal. Many chefs use cider for cooking. In summer cider is a long and refreshing drink. It's particularly nice served with a traditional ploughmans lunch. As an aid to health cider has high levels of antioxidants and quercetin.

Welsh Chicken in Cider
Lamb cooked in Cider


Welsh Chicken in Cider – Ffowlyn mewn seidr

4 Chicken breasts
1 leek

300ml dry cider
50g butter
1 large cooking apple
4 tablespoons single cream
salt and pepper
Soak the chicken in the cider for 2 hours. Remove the meat and keep the cider for the sauce. Trim the leek and cut into thin slices. Cover with cold water, heat and boil for 1 minute. Drain and cool immediately to keep its colour. Melt the butter in a thick based saucepan. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Peel and dice the apple. Add the apple and cider and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the leeks and warm through. Season. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

Lamb cooked in cider

Take any joint of lamb and place on tin foil. Baste with honey. Pierce the meat with a knife and insert half a dozen sprigs of fresh rosemary into the meat. Pour over half a litre of Roaring Meg Dry Cider. Add leeks and parsnips to the tray and fold over the tin foil enclosing the meat and vegetables. Cook for approx an hour and a half at medium to high temperature, re-basting the meat and vegetables with cider and honey juice every 25 minutes. Serve with roast potatoes that have been roasted separately. Use any juice left over for the gravy.

Best followed up with a pudding of Roaring Meg Fruit Cake and double cream. Enjoy.

Recipe from Mark Catlin