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MOP6 - Eating

  • Posted March 7, 2011 by Kate Viewed 2805 times

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Continuing my Welsh posts of late I have captured a Welsh delight - Cawl

Cawl pronounced ‘cowl’, is Welsh for broth or soup. Like all traditional country soups the ingredients are governed by what is to hand or in season. It appears from early Welsh manuscripts that originally the main meat used was bacon, or even kid, for as with Irish Stew, no cottager would dream of using valuable lamb or mutton for soups. Nowdays, however, mutton or lamb best end of neck chops are most generally used, which make it inyo a delicious soup-stew.

“Cystal yfed o'r cawl â bwyta's cig” - It is as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat': from a collection of proverbs attributed to Cattwg Ddoeth (Cattwg the Wise).

Cawl should be started the day before so that any fat can be skimmed off and all the flavours amalgamate.
2-3 lb. Welsh lamb
1 large sliced onion
3 leeks
2 medium sliced carrots
1 medium parsnip
1 small swede turnip or 2 white turnips
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
6 small potatoes
salt and pepper
4 pints (8 cups) water
If in season cabbage, celery, etc., can all be used.

Trim the meat of fat so far as possible, cover with cold water, add salt and pepper, bring to the boil, and simmer slowly for 1 hour, then leave it to get cold and skim off all the fat. Put in all the vegetables except 1 leek, the potatoes and half the parsley, cover and simmer very slowly for 1 hour, then add the potatoes cut in half and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Then add the remainder of the parsley, taste for seasoning and finely chop the remaining leek (green and white part) on top. Let it cook for not more than 5 minutes and serve. Some families treat it as a French pot-au-feu - that is, they serve the clear broth first, then the meat and vegetables as a second course. Traditionally Cawl is eaten in wooden bowls with wooden spoons so that there was no fear of burning the mouth.

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    There are 29 comments, add yours!

    • # Neil

      What wonderful looking meal ! I love to cook , bought a electric "Pressure cooker/ Slow cooker/ Rice cooker" a few weeks ago, just started using it, vegetable soup- 55 minutes, love it

      2011.03.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Marsha

      Yum! Photo and recipe both look delicious!! Would love to try it, but would probably have to settle for American...or Colorado lamb!

      2011.03.08 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Howard.

      A really interesting posting. Reminds me, a little, of Irish stew with just some differences.

      2011.03.07 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jacki

      This is a terrific post for the MOP... a little history, a recipe, the photo... well done!

      2011.03.07 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Gillian

      That certainly looks like a hearty soup! Good post for the MOP, a shout-out for good traditional homemade food.

      2011.03.07 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Eiram

      What a great post for the MOP!
      Can you believe that I never ever cooked lamb? I might try it:)

      2011.03.07 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jay

      You know, this does not look unlike something dear ol' Mom used to make back in Virginia. Love it! Colorful shots :-)

      2011.03.06 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Felecia

      YUM! Looks great Kate! Can't wait to try it. I am doing all my cooking for this coming week today. I am making
      Chicken n' Dumplings
      Pasta Bolognese (only making the sauce today)
      Pot Roast and
      Gumbo
      I have 2 of the 4 meals done. Only 2 more to go and of course, dinner for tonight.

      2011.03.06 Edited Reply Cancel