Welsh cawl

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Welsh cawl Easy Food
Serves 6
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
600g bone-in lamb neck
Salt and black pepper
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
2 small turnips, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
2 leeks, thinly sliced

To serve:
Fresh thyme, or parsley
Buttered bread
Caerphilly

With recipes dating back to the 14th century, cawl is widely considered to be the national dish of Wales. Cawl was traditionally eaten during the winter months in the south-west of Wales. Today, cawl — pronounced “cowl” — usually contains lamb and leeks, but historically it was often made with either salted bacon or beef and whichever seasonal vegetables were available.


  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan over a high heat. Season the lamb with salt and black pepper, then sear until browned on all sides.
  2. Add two litres of water to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnips. Simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the lamb is very tender, skimming off any fat rising to the top if desired. Add the leeks to the pan for the final 30 minutes of cooking time.
  3. Remove the lamb from the pot and shred it, discarding the bone. Return the shredded lamb to the soup.
  4. Taste the cawl and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve in deep bowls with a scattering of fresh thyme leaves or chopped fresh parsley. Cawl is traditionally served with bread, butter and a chunk of Caerphilly cheese; you can substitute a good mature white Cheddar if needs be.

Note: Mature white Cheddar can be used as an alternative to Caerphilly, if you wish.


Per serving: 413kcals, 16.8g fat (6.9g saturated), 46.8g carbs (8.6g sugars), 19.4g protein, 8.6g fibre, 0.176g sodium