Welsh Cawl | ExpatWomanFood.com

Posted on

23 May 2017


Liz Robb

Welsh Cawl


750-800g lamb shoulder
Salt and black pepper
Sunflower oil
2 lamb stock cubes
3 large carrots
2 parsnips
Half a swede
250g new potatoes
3 leeks
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
A small handful of fresh parsley
A small loaf of rustic bread
Caerphilly cheese


  • Roughly cut the meat into large pieces and season well with salt and black pepper.
  • Brush a heavy based frying pan with a little oil, heat then brown the meat for a few minutes on each side. Transfer to a large stove top casserole.
  • Dissolve the stock cubes in 1.8 litres of boiling water and add to the meat.
  • Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 2 hours, until the lamb is tender.
  • Peel the carrots, parsnips and swede and chop into small chunks. Chop the potatoes, skin on, into similar sized chunks.
  • Lift out the lamb, discard any fat and bones and cut the lean lamb into bite sized pieces. Skim the fat from the top of the stock and return the lamb.
  • Add the prepared carrot, swede and parsnip to the pan, bring back to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and the sprigs of thyme and cook for a further hour.
  • Clean, trim and finely slice the leeks. Add to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper then cook for a final 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the thyme stalks. Finely chop the parsley leaves then stir into the cawl a minute or two before serving.
  • Ladle out a bowlful for each person, served with a good hunk of bread and a wedge of Caerphilly cheese.
Cooks Note

We recently discovered this traditional warming one pot dish whilst on holiday in Pembrokeshire. It is a simple soup or broth cooked slowly using cheap cuts of meat, usually lamb, bulked out with root vegetables such as carrot, swede, parsnip, potato and, of course, leeks!

As with most traditional dishes, methods of cooking and ingredients vary; each one we tasted was different but they were all equally delicious! Serve with a good hunk of bread and a wedge of Welsh cheese.Traditionally, the neck of lamb was used rather than the shoulder. Or, if you prefer, you could use a leaner cut of lamb.

- If you don't have lamb stock, use vegetable stock instead.
- A good mature cheddar goes well with this dish if you can't find Caerphilly cheese.
- Some recipes include pearl barley to thicken the broth.
- You could cook this in a slow cooker rather than a stove top casserole or pan if you prefer.

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