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How To Prepare Traditional Welsh Cawl

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Cawl, pronounced ‘cowl’, is Welsh for broth or soup and the ingredients are governed by what is to hand or in season. Early Welsh manuscripts tell us that bacon was originally the main meat used and this generally considered to be the recipe for the traditional dish.
What you'll need: 
2-3 lb piece of bacon
1 large sliced onion and 3 leeks
2 medium sliced carrots
1 medium parsnip
1 small swede or turnip
2 tblsp chopped parsley
6 small potatoes
salt and pepper
4 pints of water
Trim all fat from the meat, cover with cold water in a pan and add salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer slowly for 1 hour.
Leave the cawl to get cold and skim off all the fat. Put in all the vegetables except 1 leek, the potatoes and half the parsley. Cover and simmer very slowly for 1 hour, then add the potatoes cut in half and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
Add the remainder of the parsley, taste for seasoning and finely chop the remaining leek (green and white part) on top. Let it cook for not more than 5 minutes and serve.
Some families serve the clear broth first, the meat and vegetables as a second course.
Traditionally cawl was eaten from wooden bowls with wooden spoons as it was served piping hot and there’s a Welsh saying – Cystal yfed o’r cawl a bwyta’r cig - ‘It is as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat’.
Cawl should be started the day before so that any fat can be skimmed off, and all the flavours allowed to blend.
If in season, cabbage, celery, etc., can all be used.


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