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Craigie’s Farm
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West Craigie Farm,
Queensferry, Edinburgh,
EH30 9AR
0131 319 1048

A birthday lunch and Sunday roast

On a recent Sunday we took a trip to Craigie’s Farm on the outskirts of Edinburgh, to have a birthday lunch for my father-in-law. 

The farm has been recommended to us a number of times, now that we have The Boy in tow, as a place for families. That is not to say that you won’t enjoy it if you head there on a date, though it may be reminiscent of Alan Partridge’s romantic outing to an owl sanctuary. But it is particularly exciting with wee ones. The play park is filled with old tractors to climb on, and there are a range of animals to get acquainted with, including pigs, chickens, ponies, sheep, and goats. I’m pretty sure The Boy couldn’t have cared less (at 10 months), but it won’t be long before he’s wide-eyed and caked in mud.

The farm cafe serves local meat and veg, and on this Sunday offered macaroni cheese, roast beef or gammon, and a selection of homemade cold cuts, sandwiches, soups, and hearty salads. I opted for a haggis and pork Scotch egg with two salads, and my god it was good! The cafe is perched on a steep bank, overlooking the Forth in one direction and the city’s hills in the other. A perfect view of the aeroplanes landing at the airport puts another tick in the kiddie column.

We decided to get ingredients for dinner from the farm shop, and – after a pleasant exchange with the butcher – came away with a pound of award-winning jumbo pork sausages (for the week-coming), and a lovely wee bone-in leg of lamb for dinner – both from Fife’s Buffalo Farm. We also picked up a box of farm-fresh veg, and set to planning our roast dinner. 
The lamb was simple. Dried mint, chilli, and anchovy gave the meat a salty spiced bark, which caught in the oven, to produce delicious morsels reminiscent of burnt ends. Spiced up Parmentier tatties, honey and cumin roast carrots, and a cauliflower and garam masala puree with yogurt set the roast off nicely. On top - a crispy nest of deep fried ribbons of leek. Each component was planned in accordance with age-old flavour combinations – drawn from years of burying my head in cookery books and programmes (and aided – on this occasion – by Niki Segnit’s superlative Flavour Thesaurus) – but together, they blew the traditional roast dinner wide open. (R. Sutherland) 

Please head over to Ruari’s blog for full recipes at www.eatdrinkdad.com – adventures in food and parenthood. 


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