Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Deffrwch Cymru cysglyd gwlad y gan

No, that title's not gibberish, it's Welsh! It's a lyric from the song International Velvet, by one of my favourite bands, Catatonia.

Wales is the home of many tasty dishes, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cerys of Catatonia, The Stereophonics, Tom Jones, and cawl.

190. Cawl (Cooking in Advance)

As I said yesterday, I bought the meat for this dish yesterday. It was so awesome, I got a kilo of lamb neck chops for less than 10 dollars!!! SCORE! This was at Rendinas butchery, the place where it's 10 bucks for a four-pronged rack of lamb, or 20 dollars a kilo for a leg of lamb. Even though neck is a less-known cut of meat, I was still expecting it to be priced exorbitantly, and was pleasantly surprised that it was so cheap. They were pretty meaty too.

The "in advance" part of this dish is cooking the meat. You have to boil it for 1 and a half hours, then leave it somewhere cool overnight.

boiled neck, solidified fat

The next day, you skim off the solidified fat, then add the vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, swede, carrots, leeks), and cook them until tender. Then you sprinkle it with parsley to serve, and eat it with lots of bread and butter. This was one case where I just knew, no matter how lazy I am, and how heavily it was raining, that rice just wouldn't cut it as an accompaniment. So I walked up to my local bakery this morning and bought a fresh white sourdough loaf, specially for the cawl. It was perfect! Who'd have guessed that bread and butter could be so good?

Big steaming pot of cawl

It was lovely - the clear broth surrounding the vegetables and meat. It somehow managed to be cleansing and heartily comforting at the same time. And the very cheap cut of meat became deliciously tender throughout the cooking process; it just fell off the bone and wasn't tough or stringy at all.

Bowl of Cawl

In the chorus of International Velvet, lead singer Cerys belts out the words, "Every day, when I wake up, I thank the Lord I'm Welsh". With food this delicious, I would too!


Ed Charles said...

And my grandfather – Wales that is. But i usually keep quiet about it.

Allan said...

Damn! That pork looks f***in' fantastic! Gimme some!