February 27, 2016 by Vic North
An unexpected bonus of opening the doors to our cafe here in Newport has been the opportunity to practice my very rusty knowledge of the Welsh language – and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a bit like discovering a treasure chest that I’d forgotten existed as I reclaim phrases and words that are buried deep and are emerging with every Welsh language conversation that I have.
To celebrate, we’re encouraging Siarad Cymraeg on Dydd Dewi Sant (that’s St David’s Day), 1st March here at the cafe in Newport, North Pembrokeshire and encouraging our customers, whatever their ability, to have a go at speaking Welsh. We’ll be serving award winning Bara Brith, the recipe for which I purloined from the 2015 winner of the St Dogmaels Village Show (Lorraine West – I am forever in your debt!) And, as we always like to have our own take on the classics – because that’s what being creative is all about – how can we approach this differently and with our stamp – we’re making our own rift on cawl, our celebrated national dish and baking Cawl & Caws Pasties.
Come join us on 1st March to celebrate all that makes us special here in Wales and help me dig a little deeper into that treasure chest of mine.
If you can’t join us, why not have a go at making your own Cawl & Caws pasties. Light flaky pastry encasing a deeply savoury filling. A taste of Wales. The trick of this pastry is the addition of lard which provides a light and flaky texture. You may use a vegetarian lard if you prefer.
Cawl & Caws Pasty
For the Pastry (makes enough for 4 large pasties)
350g strong white flour
30g unsalted butter
100g ice cold water (you may need a little more)
For the pasty filling
300g Welsh lamb, diced small
100g plain flour, seasoned
1 tbsp. oil
100g diced onion
100g diced potato
100g diced swede
170g Welsh cheddar, diced (Hafod is a treat)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
First make your pastry
Combine the flour, salt, lard and butter in a bowl and rub together to form a breadcrumb-like consistency.
In a slow and steady flow, add the cold water and stir to form a slightly sticky dough. Add more water if necessary.
Bring the dough together and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for at least half an hour to allow the pastry to rest and while you make the filling.
Then prep the filling
Toss the diced lamb in the seasoned plain flour. Set to one side and reserve in a bowl for later.
Add the oil to a pan placed over a low heat, and sweat the onion gently until it is softened, taking care not to let it brown. Set to one side and leave to cool.
Bring a pan of water to boil and tip in the diced potato and swede. Boil until just cooked, drain and immediately run under cold water to prevent the vegetables from cooking any further, retaining their bite and texture. Pat dry on kitchen towel to remove any excess water.
In a large bowl, combine the diced lamb with the cooled vegetables and onion and add the diced cheese, the chopped parsley and season.
Retrieve your pastry from the chiller and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 6” rounds approx 2mm thick.
Place the lamb filling on top of each pastry disk, slightly off centre.
Lightly brush the edge of the pastry with water and bring the pastry over the filling to meet and create a seal.
Crimp the pastry seal by hand or use a fork if you prefer.
Place the pasties on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and brush with egg wash.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 30mins until golden brown.
Place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.