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Roast Beef

An activity for which the Perthshire town of Crieff was famous, indeed almost infamous, in the 18th century will be commemorated in the second week of October (Saturday 7 – Saturday 14 October 2006). Langsyne every October the Crieff Tryst (cattle sale) attracted drovesof cattle  from all over the Highlands and Islands and buyers flocked from the Lowlands and England. The sight of thousands of cattle, in and around Crieff, must have been a tremendous one indeed. In 1722 some 30,000 head of cattle was sold at Crieff. The Tryst moved to Falkirk in the 1770s but not before Crieff had gained a reputation for unruly behaviour as hordes of Highland drovers celebrated their arrival and sales with a dram or three! Apparently the Crieff gallows were kept extremely busy.

No such extreme fate should befall those who attend the 5th Crieff and Strathearn Drover’s Tryst even if you have a dram too much! But the emphasis, as in the drover’s day, is very much on walking( in their footsteps), with a variety of daily walks (easy, medium and hard) and other outdoor activities, Evening entertainment abounds with ceilidhs, a barn dance, quiz nights and a special performance by top Scottish folk duo Gaberlunzie among the attractions. Visit for full details including a walk around Bennybeg for young bairns, ‘Toddle Waddle’ is for under-5s and is in aid of the Meningitus Trust and will take place on Wednesday 11 October.

Saturday 14 October will see the week wrapped up with the second Saturday Crieff Day with the Crieff Market in James Square. Something for everyone - from pipe bands and fresh products & baking to arts & crafts, street entertainment and a bouncy castle and as they say much, much more.

With Scottish beef now available, world-wide, after a ten year ban, and this week’s topic looking back to the heyday of the drover’s tryst in Crieff, our recipe must be beef based. Patricia Wallace offered one of her favourites - Roast Beef - which should tempt all palates.

Roast Beef

Do buy, and cook, your joint on the bone if possible.  The bone provides a good conductor of heat inside the joint, ensuring the cooking is even with less loss of juices. 

Dust the fat-surface of the joint with a mixture of flour and dry mustard, and sprinkle with freshly-milled black pepper (but no salt, since this encourages the juices to escape).  Add a knob of beef dripping to the tin, just to moisten the base, before placing the joint in it.  Start by giving it 20 minutes at gas mark 9, 475°F (245°C), then lower the heat to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), and cook for 15 minutes per pound (for rare), plus 15 extra minutes (for medium-rare), plus 30 minutes extra (for well-done), and baste the meat with the pan juices during the cooking.

Let the meat 'relax' for about 30 minutes before carving, pour any juices that come out of the meat back into the gravy.

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