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Scotch Beef Balmoral

This weekend at Scotland’s largest agricultural show – the Royal highland Show 2008 – you can see everything from the gentle giants, the massive Clydesdale down to the slightly smaller ferret. Some 150,000 people are expected to attend the show at its Ingliston home in Edinburgh from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 June. The record crowd was in 1957 at Dundee when 163,917 paid at the gate – with good weather could this long standing record be beaten in 2008? The four-day event is staged by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) which can trace its history back to meeting in the autumn of 1783 in the Royal Exchange of Edinburgh – the building which is now the City Chambers. The Highland Show used to tour Scotland with a different venue every year but has had a settled venue at Ingliston since 1960. For the past few years the possibility of a move has hung over the venue, depending on expansion at the nearby Edinburgh airport, but the RHASS has a contingency plan in place to move to a new site.

Meantime we can enjoy the Show in its present location with something for all the family including a discovery centre for the bairns. Visit for full details of this fabulous event. With over 1,000 exhibitors and more than 4,000 animals there is plenty to see and as you would expect at an agricultural show food, drink and cooking plays a major part. As Scotland produces some of the best beef in the world our recipe this week - Scotch Beef Balmoral - takes full advantage of this fact.

Scotch Beef Balmoral

Ingredients:  700g (1lb 9oz) Scotch fillet of Beef or rolled rib eye of Scotch beef; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 large onion or 6 shallots, finely chopped; 6 tbsp whisky liqueur such as Drambuie; 150ml (1/4 pt) Scottish double cream; 2 tbsp wholegrain Highland or Arran mustard; 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley or chives; salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:  Place the meat in a roasting tin, season with some pepper and drizzle a little of the olive oil. Cook in a preheated oven 220’C / 200’C Fan / Gas 8 for 20 minutes per 500g for rare or 25 minutes per 500g for medium rare.

Remove the cooked meat and wrap in foil to rest whilst you prepare the sauce. Transfer the roasting tin to the hob and add the remaining olive oil and chopped shallots to the pan juices. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, loosening any tasty meat residue then stir in the liqueur, cream and mustard

Bring to a gentle simmer to reduce slightly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Slice the meat onto warmed plates and spoon some sauce over the slices. Garnish with a scattering of fresh parsley and serve at once. Good with rice or new potatoes.

Serves 4

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