Considered as a national dish of Wales, cawl is a soup of meat and vegetables with no strict recipe. A warming dish served during winter, lamb (much older versions use salted pork or beef) is combined with leeks and root vegetables to make cawl.
There are two ways to serve Welsh cawl. The first is to ladle the meat and vegetables into bowls, and serve them as a soup or stew with bread (and cheese, in some regions) on the side. The second day is to serve the broth as a first course, and the meat with the vegetables as a second course.
For the broth
- 500 grams lamb we used shoulder
- 2 stalks leek
- 1 carrot
- ham bone
To make Welsh cawl
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 to 4 potatoes peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
- 1 large carrot peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
- 2 stalks celery cut into one-inch lengths
- ¼ head white cabbage cut into one-inch slices
- Boil the lamb in a pot of water with the ham bone, leeks and carrot. Skim off scum as it rises. Cover and simmer for about two hours or until the meat is literally falling off the bones.
- Scoop out the lamb from the broth. Cool.
- Strain the broth.
- Cut the lamb meat into one-inch cubes; discard the bones including the ham bone.
- Melt the butter in a pot. Add the chopped onion and cook gently until softened a bit.
- Add the celery, carrot and potatoes. Cook, stirring, for about a minute.
- Add the lamb meat and the cabbage.
- Pour in the broth. Season with salt.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and tender.
- Ladle generous servings into large bowls.
- Serve the Welsh cawl hot.