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

1 small sprig of rosemary

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 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 flour, stirring well to absorb any juices in the pan.  Slowly add the lamb stock, stirring well to eliminate the risk of lumps forming.  Add the potatoes then season with salt and pepper and add the chopped rosemary.  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.

(150oC = 300oF = gas mark 2)

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