Cawl

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    10

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

Cawl is to Wales what the hot-pot is to Lancashire and the Bakeofe is to Alsace – a slow cooking dish that makes use of local easily available ingredients. It’s a great favourite with hungry rugby men, though when I cooked this for the lads of Kidwelly RFC with help from my great mate Ray Gravell, the rugby player, they were nearly left hungry as I dropped most of it on the floor of the clubhouse. And without missing a beat they changed the lyrics of the song which they were cheerfully singing to include the words ‘silly billy’, or something like that!

Ingredients

  • lb (750 g-1 kg) piece smoked bacon (collar or shoulder)
  • 1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
  • 4 carrots, coarsely sliced
  • 1 swede, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) beef brisket or neck of lamb (or both)
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sprig thyme
  • Lamb or chicken stock, or water
  • 1 lb (500 g) potatoes (preferably tiny and new)
  • 4 slender leeks, finely chopped

Method

Soak the bacon overnight in cold water, if necessary, to remove some of the salt.

Heat the lard or bacon fat in a large soup pot and brown the onions, parsnips, carrots and swede. Remove the vegetables and brown the beef or lamb. Return the vegetables to the pot with the meat and add the drained bacon, spices and herbs. Cover with stock. Bring to the boil, skim and simmer for 2-3 hours. If the potatoes are not small and new, cut into pieces. Add to the pot 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

To serve, slice the meat and put a piece in each bowl, along with some of the broth and vegetables. Garnish with the finely chopped raw leeks. Eat with a hunk of cheese and some bread.