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Pot Roast of Lamb

Today, 15 September 2006, sees the 499th anniversary of the granting of a patent by James IV, King of Scots, to Androw Myllar and Walter Chepman authorising them to set up a printing press in Edinburgh – the first in Scotland. The earliest known output from their press – ‘The Complaint of the Black Knight – is dated 4 April 1508. The National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Printing Archival Trust is jointly promoting the 500th anniversary of this publication in 2008. Please visit for details of the preparation of many events which will be held throughout Scotland to celebrate this historic publication.

The printed word has played a long history in Scotland with the establishment of many leading publishers. Writers such as literary figures from the past Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson  down to present day writers such as William McIllvaney and Ian Rankin have provided us with a wealth of reading material. Book reading continues to play a prominent part in Scottish life with Book Festivals proving to very popular. The largest such festival is the August Edinburgh Book Festival but the second largest takes place in the much smaller burgh of Wigtown. Now in its 8th year the Wigtown Festival takes place in Scotland’s officially recognised National Book Town from Friday 22 September to Sunday 1 October 2006. Visit for full details of this popular festival.

Wigtown was chosen in 1997 as Scotland’s National Book Town from a leet which included Dalmellington, Dunblane, Gatehouse-of-Fleet, Moffat, Strathaven and the winning town, Wigtown, a royal burgh from at least 1292 now houses some thirty book related businesses with new and second-hand books galore.

Wigtown was the county town of Wigtownshire which before local government reorganisation formed the extreme south-west corner of Scotland with a coastline of 120 miles. But this week’s recipe – Pot Roast of Lamb – looks to the rural area of the county, which was most famous for dairy farming, but like the all areas of Scotland had its share of sheep.

Pot Roast of Lamb

Ingredients: 2 lbs neck end lamb, trimmed and cut into bite sized chunks; 2 tbs olive oil; 2 large onions, chopped; 1 clove of garlic, chopped; 1 tin of tomatoes; 1 lb flour; 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary; 1 tin of haricot beans; vegetable stock; salt and pepper

Method: Put half the flour into a plastic bag with the salt and pepper, and add the lamb, shaking until each piece is well coated. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil until smoking, then add the lamb in small batches, making sure each piece has been well browned. Remove the lamb, add more olive oil, then fry the onions and garlic, add the rest of the flour, making sure it has absorbed all the oil. Stir in the stock gradually, making sure the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add the tomatoes and bring back to a simmer, then add the lamb and haricot beans. Cook in a covered casserole at 150 degrees for two to three hours. Serve with new potatoes and peas

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