Thanks. The install eventually worked after multiple attempts so won't use this right now but I was interested to learn about the CPAN configuration options. I found a description of recommends_policy at Config Variables. I found the location of CPAN/config.pm that CPAN is using along with the current value of recommends_policy from the CPAN shell like shown below. This also gave me the command o conf help.
cpan> o conf
$CPAN::Config options from C:\Strawberry\perl\lib/CPAN/Config.pm:
commit [Commit changes to disk]
defaults [Reload defaults from disk]
help [Short help about 'o conf' usage]
init [Interactive setting of all options]