Cawl on St. David's Day

Did you know that today is the Welse national celebration for St. David's Day? Well, thanks to google I do now... So, today was the day when a very important patron saint of Wales died in the year 589. However, it was in the 18th century when 1st March became the official national day of celebration for "Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant" (Wlesh for St. David's day). On this day in Wales a major festival is held with St. David’s Day parades, food festivals, concerts and street parties in big cities. Here are some highlights from today's parade at Cardiff Bay. Read all about it here.

Funnyly, St. David's symbol is a leek... So on this occassion I guess it is safe to say that Wlesh folks use leek in their culinary items. So, as a celebration, I'd like to share with you a simple recipe of a traditional welsh dish called "Cawl" eaten every St. David's day. Cawl is a slow cooked stew comprising mostly of lamb and leek. You can add your own vegetables too for the stew but the two main ingredients are a must. However, sources tell that near the coast cawl can be made using seafood too. Anyway, here's the recipe for the lamb and leek cawl:



  • 2-3 medium lamb shanks, diced,
  • 2 cups of water,
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons of herbs
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced,
  • 1 large onion, chopped,
  • 1 cup stringed beans,
  • 2 carrots, sliced,
  • 1 whole leek, sliced,
  • ½ a small Savoy cabbage, optional


1. Heat the oil in a large pan, fry the onion till golden.
2. Season the lamb dices and add to the pan. Cook till brown all over.
3. Add water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes. If the water dries up add more, you can also add red wine or stock if you'd like some flavour.
4. Now, crank up the heat, add the carrots, potatoes and leek and bring to the boil again. Sprinkle some herbs and reduce the heat to a simmer while cooking for another 40 minutes. 
5. Since cabbage takes lesser time to cook, add shreded cabbage at the end and cook for another 5 minutes.

And you are done!

Now serve up, enjoy and...

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