Muffins recipes

National dish of Wales

flag of Wales

  • Independence:
  • Capital: Cardiff
  • Official language: Welsh, English
  • Population: 3 064 000
  • Area: 20 779 km2
  • International code: GB
  • Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)
map of Wales



  • 2-3 lb. Welsh lamb best end of neck cutlets
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 medium sliced carrots
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1 small swede turnip or 2 white turnips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 6 small potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 pints (8 cups) water
  • If in season cabbage, celery, etc., can all be used.
Cawl is national food (dish) of Wales


Trim the meat of fat so far as possible, cover with cold water, add salt and pepper, bring to the boil, and simmer slowly for 1 hour, then leave it 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. Then 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 treat it as a French pot-au-feu - that is, they serve the clear broth first, then the meat and vegetables as a second course. Traditionally Cawl was eaten in wooden bowls with wooden spoons so that there was no fear of burning the mouth.


Cawl is a Welsh meal. In modern Welsh the word is used to refer to any soup or broth. In English the word is used to refer to a traditional Welsh soup. Historically, ingredients tended to vary, but the most common recipes included salted bacon or beef with potatoes, swedes, carrots and other seasonal vegetables. Modern variations of the meal tend to use lamb and leek. Cawl is recognised as a national dish of Wales.

Cawl was traditionally eaten during the winter months in the south-west of Wales. Today the word is often used to refer to a dish containing lamb and leeks, due to their association with Welsh culture, but historically it was made with either salted bacon or beef, along with potatoes, carrots and other seasonal vegetables. With recipes dating back to the 14th century, cawl is widely considered to be the national dish of Wales.

The meat in the dish was normally cut into medium-sized pieces and boiled with the vegetables in water. The stock was thickened with either oatmeal or flour, and was then served, without the meat or vegetables, as a first course. The vegetables and slices of the meat would then be served as a second course. Cawl served as a single course is today the most popular way to serve the meal, which is similar to its north Wales equivalent lobsgows. Lobsgows differs in that the meat and vegetables were cut into smaller pieces and the stock was not thickened.

"Cawl cennin", or leek cawl, can be made without meat but using meat stock. In some areas cawl is often served with bread and cheese. These are served separately on a plate. The dish was traditionally cooked in an iron pot or cauldron over the fire and eaten with wooden spoons.

© 2011-2015 Site Map Info