Welsh Cawl in a Casserole Pot in Kitchen
Food - Drink
Cawl: The Meaty Welsh Stew That's A Comforting Classic
What Is Cawl?
Hailing from Wales in the west of the United Kingdom, cawl is a traditional Welsh stew that typically features Welsh lamb or beef and root vegetables. Cawl, or as it’s known in Wales "cawl Cymreig,” meaning Welsh soup, cawl can vary by season and throughout the region, but it has been eaten in one form or another for centuries.
The origins of cawl are unknown since it has taken many different forms over the centuries, with different ingredients and preparations. While evidence shows that the stew predates written records, it wasn’t until the 1900s that cawl as we now know it was made, incorporating lamb or beef, bacon, and root vegetables.
The main meat component of cawl is Welsh lamb or beef, alongside bacon and veggies like onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, leek, celery, and rutabaga, which can be added or removed depending on what’s in season. The stew is then seasoned with a bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.
How to Make Cawl
The first step is to cook the onions until brown in a large pot, then toss in the meat to sear and add the stock and water to boil the meat until tender. This is then left to cool in the fridge overnight, and the next morning, additional veggies are added in to cook, the meat is quickly sliced and added back in, and it’s ready to serve.
One of the unique aspects of cawl is that the broth is often served separately from the meat and vegetables, with the infused broth eaten as a starter and the ingredients as the main dish alongside bread and cheese. In Wales, the dish is often served on March 1, the Welsh holiday of St. David's Day, for a hearty, traditional meal.