Delicious Welsh Cawl


Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy Saint David’s Day!

Natalie here  Fforest Fields caravan and camping site has officially opened for the season and our two cottages have toasty warm guests staying, enjoying this blustery spring morning! So after cooking up a batch of Cawl last night for St David’s Day, I thought I’d share my recipe with you as it’s a perfect all year round food but it’s particularly special on St David’s Day as it is a traditional welsh broth soup made from lamb, leeks and other delicious vegetables.

Cawl is pronounced ‘cowl’ and is a traditional country soup, the ingredients were dependent on what was in season at the moment. You can use a range of meats, but nowadays it’s often lamb, in the past it has been made with bacon or goat and the recipe varies on what region you’re from. This time, I’ve been able to use some of our homegrown Mutton – which is exceptional when slow cooked and tastes utterly amazing in Cawl.

I usually prepare this the day before and then reheat when it’s time to eat, I find the flavours are so much richer and I can skim off any fat that has surfaced as it cools – also with little ones, it’s just easier!

I cook with organic vegetables, I’m not just being preachy but the taste when slow cooked is just incredible and I can just feel the nourishment going in 

Serves: 4-5

2-3 lbs of delicious Welsh lamb/mutton – cheaper cuts are ok as we’re slow cooking 
4 scraped and sliced organic carrots
2 finely sliced organic onions
1 peeled and chopped organic swede (or two turnips)
3 organic leeks, chopped into meaty sized chunks
3 medium sized organic potatoes
Fresh thyme
1 bayleaf
Fresh Parsley
Salt & Pepper (I like to add some peppercorns)

Trim the fat off the meat as well as you can, pop it into plenty of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about an hour, ensuring there is a good amount of water in the pan at all times. Skim off the remaining fat and set to one side. I like to break my meat up at this point into munchable chunks, you can do it at the beginning or you can choose to not do it at all, but I like it torn chunks rather than neat bits so like to do it when the meat has softened.

Add carrot, onions and swede, half a teaspoon of salt and the peppercorns (or ground pepper). Bundle the thyme and bay leaf together with string (or just throw them in!) and stir the pot. Then return the pot to the stove and let it simmer for about 2 hours.

Then add half of the parsley and the potatoes, stir and cook for about 20 minutes, finally add the leeks and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. I keep this time shorter, but then I am reheating and love leeks when they are just on the edge of crispy and soft.

Season to taste and place to one side and reheat the next day, or eat immediately with a garnish of fresh parsley and some warm crusty bread and a big chunk of delicious Welsh cheese.

Yum yum yum!!

FoodJessie Barstow