Somehow it’s nearly the beginning of March already and whilst it may feel like the months are slipping past at least we have the prospect of spring to look forward to. With this time of year come brighter days and the return of vibrant colours to our countryside – including the cheerful trumpeted daffodils, the national flower of Wales. Their arrival neatly coincides with St.David’s Day on 1st March. This traditional Welsh celebration is held on the anniversary of Saint David’s death, the country’s patron saint. Strongly linked with the history of religion in Wales he heavily influenced the spread of Christianity throughout the country. It is now an annual celebration of Welsh culture where traditional dress and symbols such as daffodils and leeks are worn and classic Welsh dishes are shared.
To join in with the festivities this year we have tried and tested a delicious cawl recipe. A lamb stew with hearty root vegetables, traditional leeks and our favourite staple: potatoes. We’ve strayed a little from the classic recipe and have used a lovely waxy variety. La Ratte is a firm, French variety that will stay together when cooked making it a perfect addition to casseroles and stews. No need to peel or chop, just wash them and pop them in whole! Why not give this recipe a go this March and let us know what you think.
St.David’s Day Cawl
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Serves 4/5 people
500g La Ratte potatoes
1kg neck or shoulder of lamb
1 small swede
Small bunch of parsley
Salt and pepper
- To start, place the meat into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 2-3 hours over a low heat. Leave to cool completely and skim any fat from the surface.
- Cut the meat from the bone and chop the carrots, leeks, onion and swede. Add all of this to the stock along with the potatoes and simmer until cooked (approx. 15-20 minutes). Add more vegetable stock if required and season with salt and pepper.
- Finally add the shredded leeks. To thicken the stock you can mix in a paste made from flour and water if required.
- Serve warm with crusty bread and enjoy; mwynhewch eich bwyd!