Celebrating St David’s Day in Wales

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Today, all over Wales, celebrations are taking place in honour of St David or Dewi Sant, the patron saint of Wales. It is thought that Dewi Sant died on March 1st 589, so on 1st March each year it is customary to wear either a leek or a daffodil in his name.


This year the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be attending the St David’s Day celebrations in Cardiff, including the service at St John the Baptist City Parish Church in the Welsh capital city. But it’s not just Cardiff where St David’s Day festivities are taking place; parades, events and walks are being held all over the country. With so much going on, this weekend is a fantastic time to take a trip to Wales! Or, if you’re not in Wales but still want to get into the spirit of St David’s Day, why not cook up a delicious pan of the traditional Welsh stew, cawl? Recognised by many as the national dish of Wales, this scrumptious meal is sure to get you in the spirit of St David’s Day!

Welsh Flag, St David's Day / Baner Cymru, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi 2009

The ingredients that you will need are:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 swede, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 4 leeks, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 500g lamb (such as neck on the bone)
  • 500g smoked bacon, cut in to 2cm cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

West Wales New Year


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the onions, swede, leeks and carrots to the pan and fry for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the lamb to the pan and turn up the heat to brown all over. Once browned  add the bacon to the pan along with the vegetables and diced potatoes. Add the bay leaf and the fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover the meat and vegetables with cold water.
  • Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for at least two hours or until the lamb is tender.
  • Serve piping hot with crusty bread, Welsh butter and even cheese on the side.

Cawl tastes even better when reheated the next day, so be sure to set aside any leftovers for a delicious meal later in the week!

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