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Fochan Lèairr

Fochan Lèairr is an aromatic, savoury porridge made with the smoked meat of the lèairr fish.   A large and agile fish, lèairr is almost impossible to catch during the summer. In the colder waters around the winter months however, the fish are slower and those willing to brave the bitter cold to venture out fishing stand more of a chance at taking one home. As such, fochan lèairr has become a popular winter meal among the coastal communities in south-west Slèitear. It is commonly served in the evenings to warm the weary after a hard day of work.   As a single lèairr can easily yield over thirty pounds of filleted meat, the fish is often smoked and stored, rather than eaten all at once. Lèairr has a mild-taste of its flesh, so the smoking also helps enhance the eventual flavour of the lèairr. Fochan also draws on the oysterlike taste of sloak and the earthy tones of goat's cheese and heather to complement the smoked meat.

Manufacturing process

Preparation

In a large, heavy-based cauldron, one diced onion and one thinly sliced leek are cook in cow's butter until they soften and turn translucent. One pound of hulled barley and two minced cloves of garlic are then added to the pot, and the mixture is stirred, ensuring that the barley corns all have as much contact with the bottom of the pot as possible.   Once the barley begins to turn translucent, four pints of warm water are added to the cauldron, one ladle at a time as the water is absorbed. When the mixture reaches a loose and creamy consistency, half a cup of goat's cheese is added, together with a sprinkling of dried heather tops and spoonful of salt. Finally, once the cheese has melted in, half a pound of smoked lèairr is added, along with one cup of sliced sloke.
 

Presentation

After it has been cooked, the hot porridge is spooned into bowls and garnished with crumbled goat's cheese, dried heather tops, or fresh parsley. It is common to pair the meal with heather ale, the beverage having been brewed during the autumn while the heather still blooms. The amber drink is heavy and has a hint of spice, which helps to add to the warming quality of the meal.

Significance

Fochan lèairr is a popular comfort food, and the smell of the cauldron bubbling away in the evening can bring a wide smile to even the sternest of Ciadrì faces. The Ciadrì roundhouses usually house two to three families, and as the sun sets, all of a dwelling's inhabitants will gather around the central cooking pot. Often, recollections of the day's events will be interspersed with the retelling of local legends and cautionary tales directed towards the younger family members.   Occasionally, a skilled angler will bring home a lèairr in the late summer or early autumn, and the dish can be prepared with fresh heather flowers instead of dried ones. This is a rare treat, and often the entire fish will be filleted at once. Neighbouring households will come together, and a large bonfire will be lit outside for the group to congregate around. Enough fochan is prepared for everyone and the community take turns to sing and dance around the fire as they enjoy their meal.
Item type
Consumable, Food / Drink
Related ethnicities
Rarity
A common meal during the winter.
Raw materials & Components
smoked lèairr | onion | leek | garlic | barley | sloke | goat's cheese | parsley | heather tops | butter | salt

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Comments

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20 Oct, 2018 12:30

A really hearty dish! Fantastic details of the presnetation :D


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