Friday, 1 March 2013

Cawl Mam (Lamb stew)

Welsh Daffodils  - do not cook!
Cawl was real "comfort food" when I was growing up, and everyone's Mam had their own way of doing it!

These days I make cawl in the slow cooker, but my mother used to cook it in a big saucepan, over a low heat.  I don't measure exact quantities, either - this is easy to stretch by adding more vegetables.  And of course, you can leave out anything you don't like.

Diced Lamb - about 300- 350 grams( Stewing lamb is fine for this.  The flavour is great but it will be a bit fatty)
About 1.5kg (unprepared weight) -  of mixed vegetables -

Carrots
Parsnip
Swede
Potatoes
Onion and/or leek

Lamb stock cube (Mam used neck of lamb on the bone.  This is not available these days so the stock cube helps boost the flavour)
Salt - to taste.(Mam used quite a bit and I find the cawl doesn't taste right without it, even though I don't habitually use it in cooking!

Brown the lamb in a frying pan then transfer to slow cooker.  Dissolve the stock cube in water, pour over the lamb.  Slow-cook on high for about an hour.  If you're cooking in a saucepan, bring the stock to the boil and then reduce heat to low for about half an hour.
Prepare the vegetables by peeling and chopping into "bite sized" pieces.  (Slice the onions/leeks).   Add to the lamb, then cover with hot water.

Then leave it to cook!  When the vegetables are cooked, it's done.  Taste and add salt if required.  Serve with chunks of fresh bread. 

  If you're using a slow cooker, you can leave it on high until it's done (2-3 hours)  and then turn the heat down to low.  If you're going to be out all day you can leave it on low.  If you're using a saucepan you will need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil.