Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Image courtesy of www.stdavidsdenton.org

Welsh Yumologists the world over are taking time out today to celebrate St. David, the patron saint of Wales.  St. David was a Welsh church official during the 6th century. He is best remembered as a compassionate teacher and preacher in monastic settlements and churches throughout Wales and Brittany during the time of Pagan uprisings.

Many statues and churches have been erected throughout Wales to honor St. David, but the most magnificent place of worship is St. David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. This site is often visited by Welsh locals wishing to pay homage to their patron saint on March 1, the day of his death.

Image courtesy of www.castlewales.com

St. David lived for over 100 years and practiced vegetarianism, as a result, the leek, a common staple in Welsh cooking, has become the symbol most associated with the country and the memory of St. David himself.

While St. David may have been a vegetarian, many Welsh recipes, incorporating his signature leek, have evolved to include meat. Below are two traditional Welsh recipes that will undoubtedly be served in many celebrational dinners this evening:

Welsh Cawl - Recipe by Welsh Holiday Cottages

Welsh Cawl (Pronounced "Cowl")
Recipe and image courtesy of www.walescottages.com

2-3 lbs Welsh lamb
1 large sliced onion
3 fresh leeks
2 sliced carrots
1 medium parsnip
2 white turnips
2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
6 small potatoes halved or quartered
1/2 head of chopped cabbage
2 large celery stalks chopped.
8 cups of water
Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Try to trim as much fat from the meat as possible. Add the trimmed meat to a large stove-top pot. Cover the meat with cold water, add salt and pepper and let it simmer for one hour.
  • At the end of the hour remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Once the water has cooled skim any risen fat from the top of the pan and add the chopped vegetables, minus one leek, the potatoes and half the parsley for garnish.
  • Let the pot with the vegetables simmer for another hour.
  • At the end of the second hour, add the potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes of simmering add the remaining leek and parsley to the top of the pot, stir and serve.
Ideally cawl should be prepared the night before serving so as to allow the vegetables and meat to adequately absorb each other's flavors.

Welsh cakes - Welsh Cake Recipe

Welsh Cakes
Recipe and image courtesy of www.britishfood.about.com

1 cup of self rising flour
1/2 cup of butter
1 tsp of mixed spice (should be able to find this in your grocery aisle but if not it is equal parts of the following: cinnamon, coriander, caraway, nutmeg, ginger & all spice.)
1/2 cup of sugar (caster fine sugar if possible)
1/2 lemon rind grated
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup of raisins or dried currants
1 large beaten egg
1/4 cup of milk (as needed)
  • Sieve the flour, salt and spice together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  • Add the sugar, lemon rind and dried fruit.
  • Pour in the beaten egg and stir to make a firm dough - only add the milk a little at a time if needed.
  • On a floured cutting board, roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thick and cut into discs.
  • Cook the Welsh Cakes on a medium hot, greased griddle for 3 mins per side or until they turn a golden brown color.
  • Sprinkle hot cakes with sugar, and ENJOY!

What unique holiday recipes do you celebrate with your friends and family?

Tagged: ,


  1. Made a lovely batch of welsh cakes to celebrate...also Mum's shepherds pie with lamb! To top it all off...a lager and lime ;) very tasty! ;) Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!

    Iechyd Da bob Cymro!! (Cheers!Good health to all welsh people!)

  2. Wonderful blog! Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!!
    Keep them coming