Scotland’s very own action man usually found deep underwater or high above the clouds had his feet firmly planted on the ground as he visited one of Scotland’s most exciting rural experiences ahead of St Andrew’s Day.
TV presenter Andy Torbet, whose experience includes stunt man on the latest James Bond film, underwater explorer, skydiver and extreme adventurer, can now add farmer to his action-packed CV as he visited Lennox of Lomond farm to find out all about Scotland’s growing agritourism scene and why top quality Scottish produce should be on the menu this St Andrew’s Day.
Set high on a hillside overlooking Loch Lomond, Lennox of Lomond farm has been run by generations of the Lennox family since 1750, producing quality-assured Scotch Lamb PGI. After recently diversifying into tourism, visitors can not only get involved with farming and learn how Scotch Lamb is produced, but they’re also able to stay overnight in luxury barns to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
The visit comes as an industry campaign to make Scotch Lamb the dish of St Andrew’s Day is in full swing, following a successful push in 2020 that resulted in a 9% uplift in value of lamb and 6.9% uplift in sales.
Farmer Bobby Lennox was on hand to teach Andy all about farming Scotch Lamb as well as putting him through his paces with activities including sheep herding, dry stone wall building and quad biking; activities that guests can take part in and enjoy while also helping safeguard rural communities. After taking part in the farming activities on offer, Andy finished the day by enjoying a Scotch Lamb rump with za’atar and crowdie pastilla cooked by award-winning chef Graeme Pallister – the perfect recipe to try for St Andrew’s Day.
Andy said: “What you eat has a huge impact on yourself and your environment. Today, if you choose to make meat a part of your diet then you should be looking for good quality local products that are farmed in the most ethical and sustainable ways. It can be difficult and time consuming to identify produce that actually comes from Scotland, not just packaged here, and is farmed with high welfare standards and an investment in the landscape for future generations. The Scotch Lamb PGI mark helps consumers make better choices. And, whatever food you choose to eat, you should be educating yourself on where that food comes from, how it’s grown and the impact the farming and transportation methods can have on you and the planet. What better way to understand that than spending time on a working farm with working farmers to open your eyes.”
Lesley Cameron, director of marketing and communications at Quality Meat Scotland, which runs the Scotch Lamb PGI brand, said: “Agritourism taps into numerous post-pandemic trends including food and drink experiences with a story, wellness, nature and ‘workcations’. There’s so much just waiting to be discovered in Scotland’s rural communities – whether that be exhilarating outdoor adventures, unwinding in nature, learning a new skill or tasting some incredible ingredients from exactly where they’re produced.
“We’re proud to have a partnership with Go Rural, a network of agritourism farms including Lennox of Lomond, where just like Andy, people can get involved, try something new and learn all about the care and pride taken in producing quality-assured red meat like Scotch Lamb.”
Go Rural is a community initiative run by farmers and crofters who are passionate about producing the highest quality food and drink as well as caring for the environment and protecting Scotland’s landscapes.
Caroline Miller, Founder of Go Rural said: “Just like the Scotch-assured brands, Go Rural is all about showcasing the very best the country has to offer, highlighting the real people and places that make the Scottish countryside such a special place.
“The people welcoming you on to the farms are real characters, all unique with a different story to tell. There’s lots to learn, and that’s why we’re so pleased to be partnering with Quality Meat Scotland to further promote the link between farming, education and tourism.”
Scotch Lamb PGI is whole chain assured lamb from Scotland, from specific animals that are sourced from selected Scottish farms that adopt best practice when it comes to animal welfare, sustainability and production methods.
Roast rump of Scotch lamb, Blackthorn salt za’atar and crowdie pastillas
MethodPreheat oven 180 degrees Celsius Start by preheating a solid based frying pan, season the lamb lightly with salt and pepper before adding a little cooking oil to the pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Place the lamb on an oven tray with the rosemary, thyme and garlic and place in the oven for 10 minutes until cooked to your liking. Tip some of the excess cooking oils into the crowdie and reserve the pan. Fold in the shredded mint. Combine the flour with 2 teaspoons of water to make a paste. Using the samosa wrappers, place a spoonful of crowdie on one corner of each of the wrappers and fold several times keeping a triangular shape, paint the final corner with the paste before sealing the pastilla. In a non stick pan with a splash of oil brown the samosas on each side, keep warm by places a loose piece of tin foil over them. To make the za’atar, combine the toasted cumin seeds, sumac, Blackthorn salt flakes and the oregano in a bowl and reserve for later. Remove the lamb from oven and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes, collect the juices and combine them with rapeseed oil and vinegar, season to taste to complete the sauce. Warm the greens in the reserved pan you sealed the lamb in ready for serving. To serve place the warm lamb on the greens, top with the pastillas, sprinkle over some za’atar and surround with the warm dressing sauce.