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Scotland is the home of a surprising amount of the UK’s finest local fare which is nurtured at source and enjoyed the world over. May 2011 sees the finale of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, a year long programme of Scottish events and festivals celebrating this fantastic natural larder, so let’s join the celebration.

Scotland’s stunning natural landscape produces a massive variety of delicacies: shellfish from the rugged coastline; venison, lamb and game from the mountains; classic Aberdeen Angus beef and soft fruits from the grassy lowlands; and whisky from regions across the country.

Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink may be ending this month, however there will still be a surprising number of ways to continue enjoying some of these gourmet delights fresh from the source on a break to Scotland: From celebrating at one of the many annual food festivals, enjoying a taster on one of Scotland’s whisky trails, or savouring oysters on the Scottish Seafood Trail to tasting your way round Edinburgh’s 5 Michelin-starred restaurants, making your own ice cream in Dumfries & Galloway or taking part in a cookery course at Edinburgh’s New Town Cookery School.

Making the most of this occasion, executive chef of Edinburgh’s Cafe St Honoré and recently named Chef of the Year at the Scottish Restaurant Awards, Neil Forbes shows where to discover some of the highest quality foods produce in Edinburgh and how to prepare a traditional Scottish roast lamb.

Using the best, locally sourced produce and traditional cooking methods, this classic recipe uses wholesome Scottish barley, mixed greens and seasonal root vegetables to make the most of the highest quality ingredients for a timeless and deliciously satisfying dish.

Watch the following video for Neil Forbes’ take on this delectable Scottish classic.

For more information and ideas of surprising ways to discover Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com/surprise

Recipe:

Organic Lamb, Barley, Wilted Greens and Roast Roots

Ingredients:

Leg of organic lamb (seamed, boned - get your butcher to do this)
250g barley
4 handfuls of a mixture of greens (e.g. spinach, wild leeks, cabbage)
Approximately 400g of local, organic, roots (e.g. parsnips, carrots, turnips)
Glug of rapeseed oil
Maldon sea salt and pepper
Good Scottish butter
Sprig of rosemary
1/2 litre of lamb or beef stock

Method:

*Pre- heat oven to 200c
*Rinse the barley under a cold tap and then bring to the boil in a pan of water and simmer until tender, this should take 15-20 minutes
*Meanwhile, wash, peel and then re-wash the roots and cut to the desired shape
* Wash the greens in cold, fresh, water and then set aside
* Seam bone the lamb (it is not difficult to do and you can keep the trimmings and bones for stew or broth)
* Roast the roots and the lamb in a thick-bottomed frying pan for approximately 7 minutes. Halfway through cooking add the rosemary and then season with a few pinches of salt and pepper

* Put the pan containing the lamb and roots inside it into the oven for approximately 8 minutes and cook until the lamb is just firm to the touch and pink.
* Allow the meat to rest with the veg, in a warm place
* Keep the thick-bottomed pan that you used for the lamb and add the stock and deglaze. Bring to the boil and reduce until thick and sticky.
* Meanwhile, drain the barley and add some butter and salt.
* In a pot melt some butter and wilt the greens.

To serve:

Arrange the barley, roots and greens on a warm plate. Carve the lamb to the desired thickness and sprinkle with sea salt. Trickle with the meat juices. Serve immediately with a good bottle of Caley 80/ (beer).

For more information on Cafe St Honoré visit: http://www.cafesthonore.com/

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