Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Proving a point

With a little determination, one can make almost anything edible. In this case, it's cawl, the traditional Welsh soup that is one of the favoured traditional dishes for St. David's Day. There are numerous recipes, so the first trick is to choose the one most agreeable to one's palate. This was my selection.

There are purists who would possibly be troubled that I'm choosing a recipe without mutton. First, finding mutton around here is an adventure in itself. Lamb is easy. Grown up dead sheep meat, not so much. Second, my appreciation of Welsh cuisine was permanently twisted by my paternal grandmother's cooking. She was given by nature a commanding personality and a conviction that anything one could actually recognise, when it came off the cooker, was underdone. That did nothing to improve culinary adventures like mutton. Second, this recipe has enough cholesterol without mutton.

Last year, I spent far too much time hunting up parsnips, which are hard to find hereabouts at this season. Even though parsnips give the soup an extra distinction, what with sick kitty preoccupations, I didn't have time. I used rutabaga instead, which turned out to be serendipitous.

My next change is to use Canadian bacon, which reduces the soup's fat content. This too is a sin. Traditional cawl is brought to a boil, then cooled until a thick layer of fat forms on the surface (see step 4). Canadian bacon lets you skip that step entirely, especially if your beef is lean. Also, after browning, I cook the lot in a slow cooker. No need for all that grease, and I can do without cooking over a coal fire.

This recipe works very well with the rutabaga, but anyone who can get local parsnip should use it. Sometime, I may try this recipe with turnip and parsnip, and no potatoes. That would make it authentically pre-Columbian, even palaeo. The recipe's weakness is preparation time, but using the slow cooker takes the curse off that.

Serve hot, with whole grain bread and Double Gloucester cheese. If you can get Welsh cheese, lucky you!

Iechyd a!

Labels: , ,


Blogger massmarrier said...

Who be sellin' the Welsh cheese here about?

12:58 am  
Blogger Uncle said...

Rumour has it that you can't find it nearer than Manhattan.

12:55 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home