Being Welsh I thought it might be a good idea to, over time, post numerous traditional recipes from my home country with the aim of making them a little more popular and keeping tradition alive. As such, the epitome of Welsh cooking, cawl, really had to come first. Cawl is actually the Welsh word for broth and as tradition dictates must contain lamb and leek. However, cawl is really a dish for using left overs, for that reason one can use nearly anything to make it, and it often includes potatoes, swede, bacon and carrots.
On paper this medieval soup is really very basic, however because it cooks for at least two hours all the juices from the meat and the vegetables combine to make a truly delicious flavour. For this reason it is best to use lamb on the bone to make this dish because all the flavours of the bone marrow filter into the broth and really lifts the taste. I genuinely hope people attempt this recipe because it is such a pleasing and comforting dish, not to mention the fact Welsh food is seriously underrated. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; there’s nothing better than a well-cooked one-pot dish.
Traditional Welsh Cawl
- 600g traditional stewing lamb
- 2 medium leeks, roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 6 potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 3-4 onions, roughly chopped
- Small swede, roughly chopped (optional)
- 450ml vegetable stock
- Good knob of butter
- Homemade bread roll and mature cheddar cheese to serve
1. Quickly brown the meat off in a little oil, on a high temperature. Set aside, but keep the juices in the pot.
2. To the juices add a good knob of butter and melt. To this add all of the vegetables apart from the potatoes. Cook until the volume of the pan occupied by vegetable has halved.
3. Add the potatoes and meat, pour in the stock and season. Cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for at least two hours.
4. Pull the lamb gently away from the bone using a knife and fork. Serve in a bowl with bread, butter and cheddar cheese.
Cost: Traditional stewing lamb is ridiculously cheap and you get a surprising amount of actual meat for your money. For that reason this dish is a very reasonable £5 – £5.50 for the entire thing, with bread and cheese. That makes it between £1.25 and £1.40 per portion, taking the rules of rounding into account.