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Highland Game Soup

The Highland Games season in Scotland runs from May until September, giving us all plenty opportunies to enjoy this colourful Scottish tradition. Games, of course, are found the length and breadth of Scotland and are not restricted to The Highlands! Lowland towns and villages are just as keen to stage their local Highland Games. The Games are very much a community event with towns and villages taking great pride in putting their community in the limelight for the day. Markinch Highland Games this year had an added attraction in having film star Dougray Scott as Games Chieftain. Well known for his roles in 'Mission Impossible' and 'Enigma', Dougray Scott took time off from a heavy filming schedule to come home to be Chieftain at the Games he attended as a bairn. Raised in the nearby New Town of Glenrothes, he and his family enjoyed, in spite of the inclement weather, yet another successful day for Markinch Games. A large crowd watched and enjoyed the Heavy events, running and cycling, solo piping and Pipe Band competions, Highland dancing, stalls and funfair. Incidently the World Record of 92 feet 7 inches for the 28lb Weight for Distance was set at Markinch Games in 1997 by Francis Brebner from Peterhead.
The full calendar of Highland Games in Scotland is available through the Electric Scotland website and many appear in The Flag's Events Section. So, weather permitting, home based Scots and our many visitors can enjoy the spectacle of the 21st century Highland Games which reflect traditional events going back to the mists of time.
This week's recipe could not be more appropriate - Highland Game Soup - an excellent appetiser for the Highland Games of your choice. Enjoy both!
Highland Game Soup
Ingredients : 4 lb ( 2 kg ) well-hung game bones; 1 lb ( 500 g ) shin of beef, minced; giblets of game birds, if available; 2-3 carrots, sliced; 2 medium onions, sliced; 2 bay leaves; some parsley stalks; 4 oz ( 125 g ) celery, chopped; 4 oz ( 125 g ) white of leek, chopped; 1 doz peppercorns; salt; cold water; port wine to taste
Garnish - diced cooked game meat
A clear soup with a rich flavour - serves 12-14. Brown the bones and onions in the oven or in a frying pan on top of the stove. Place in a large pot with the beef, giblets, carrots, celery, leeks, bay leaves, parsley, peppercorns and salt. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 4-5 hours, skimming when necessary. Do not stir. Leave to cool a little and settle, then strain through a fine muslin. Skim well, removing all the grease, then add the port and check seasoning. Garnish with diced cooked game meat.

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