“Brummie” refers to my hometown of Birmingham (UK, not Alabama), a place not exactly famed for its culinary delights. In fact, it’s not much famed for anything at all, even though it gave the world Cadbury’s chocolate, heavy metal music and the Industrial Revolution. And since it’s the birthplace of the Balti, which revolutionized the British curry, and home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than Lisbon or Budapest, perhaps it should get more credit for its cuisine.
This is a recipe which harks back to a different age though, an era of rationing when these cakes were a great way to eke out a small amount of meat for a hungry family. My version increases the amount of bacon and cheese, and is a weekend brunch favorite of ours, delicious with scrambled eggs.
4 rashers of bacon (streaky if you can get it)
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or similar)
2/3 cup of milk (plus a little extra for glazing)
¼ cup of butter
1 squirt tomato ketchup
½ tsp salt
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce (if available, or 1 tsp black pepper sauce works well if not)
1. Grill or fry the bacon until crispy, then leave to cool.
2. Heat the oven to 160c/ 140c fan.
3. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
4. Sift the flour into a bowl, along with the salt.
5. Work the butter into the flour with your fingers, until the texture resembles breadcrumbs.
6. Chop the bacon into small pieces and add to the bowl with half of the cheese.
7. Mix together the milk, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
8. Stir the liquid into the flour until it forms a soft dough.
9. Roll out on a floured surface and form into a circle 7-8 inches across.
10. Brush with milk and cut into 8 sections.
11. Transfer to the baking sheet and top with remaining cheese.
12. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.