Scottish folk duo Gaberlunzie helped to kick-off the week-long Crieff and
Strathearn Drovers' Tryst last Saturday with a sell-out concert in the
Crieff British Legion. The annual event, including daily guided walks,
celebrates the story of Scotland's cattle drovers and recalls the time when
Crieff was the heart of the Scottish cattle trade. The wealth
generated by that trade ensured that by the second quarter of the 18th
century Crieff was regarded as one of the main financial centres of
Scotland. Cattle came from the North, East and West to the Perthshire
town and the buyers came from the South for the cattle market held in the
second week of October. The 21st century Drovers' Tryst is designed to
attract tourists to this picturesque area of Scotland. Visit
www.droverstryst.co.uk for full details of the rest of this week's
activity as well as other surrounding attractions.
Saturday (15 October 2005) you can catch the Drovers' Tryst Farmers' Market
in James Square, Crieff, and also enjoy live music played by Tarneybackle
and spot drovers mingling in the crowd and listen to their stories.
The market runs from 11am to 4pm.
Our recipe this week has to be based on quality Scottish beef and Braised
Topside of Beef is just the ticket.
Braised Topside of Beef
Ingredients: 100g (4oz) fat bacon; 1kg (2lb) topside
of beef; salt and black pepper to taste; 100g (4oz) diced swede
or turnip; 3 young carrots; 2 small onions; 1 stick
celery; ½ bay leaf; sprig of thyme; sprig of parsley;
500ml (1 pint) rich beef stock
Method: remove and discard any rind from bacon. Chop and
fry bacon till the fat is extracted. Season beef with salt and freshly
ground black pepper. Remove bacon. Place topside in pan.
Fry in the bacon dripping, turning occasionally, until evenly browned all
over. (Use steak tongs when turning to avoid piercing the meat.)
Place swede or turnips, carrots cut in slices, onions and sliced celery in
the bottom of a casserole. Lay the meat on top. Add bay leaf,
thyme, parsley and stock. Take a piece of kitchen paper and cut a
cover from it the shape and size of the casserole, then butter it and place,
buttered side downwards, over the beef. Cover casserole. Cook in
a slow over, 150°C, 300°F, Gas Mark 2 for about 4 hours, turning every hour.
Serve from the casserole with mashed potatoes and spinach. Serves 4-5.