Friday, 24 February 2017

Cawl - Welsh Lamb Stew

The only real difference between a traditional Welsh Cawl and its Celtic cousin Irish Stew is the more broth-like consistency, lack of barley and inclusion of leek, swede/turnip and dumplings in the Welsh version.   

It’s a delicious stew which benefits from being made a day in advance so that it as it sits in the oven overnight the flavours meld and mature.

For two to three people :

2 lamb leg steaks
1 stick of celery
1 large or two small leeks
2 medium carrots
½ medium swede / 2 small turnips
2 medium potatoes

Scant ½ tb flour
2 pints of lamb stock
1tb olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the dumplings you need :

1tb self raising flour
1tb suet
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough water to bring together to a slack dough. 

Firstly cut the leg steaks into large pieces, coat with the flour and fry in the olive oil to brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate as they are browned.

Slice the leek/s lengthways and rinse well under running water, then cut into slices approximately ½ an inch thick.  Finely chop the celery stick, peel the carrots and swede/turnip and cut into coarse dice and then do the same with the potatoes.

Add a little more oil to the pan if needed, and gently sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes.  Return the lamb to the pan and add the lamb stock then add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on a very low simmer for two hours, or pop it into the oven to cook at 150oC for two hours.

At the end of the cooking time make the dumplings by adding the flour, suet and seasoning to a small basin and mix with enough cold water to combine to a slightly wetter dough than bread or pastry.  Scoop tablespoonfuls onto the stew and pop back into the oven.  If you’re cooking ahead of time and you have an electric oven, you can turn the oven off now and the dumplings will cook in the cooling oven.  If you have a gas oven they will need about half an hour cooking before you can turn the oven off.

* I had this delicious Cawl recently on a short holiday to the lovely coastal town of Aberaeron, and they serve it in the 'Brecon Style'.  Instead of a suet dumpling, you get a lump of cheese on the side and a bread roll.  For those of us obsessed with maintaining our cheese intake, this method is highly recommended, and probably better for the cholesterol levels too!

(150oC = 300oF = gas mark 2)

No comments:

Post a Comment