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Welcome to our family farm in Orkney

taste of orkney

Orkney Buffalo Blog

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A blog about all the goings on on our family farm in Orkney.  Living the dream with our buffalo and Jacobs sheep and chickens and cats and dogs....what next?

Spring! Cooking up something wholesome...with shin of buffalo

By Naomi Bremner, Mar 21 2016 10:39PM

Yesterday was the first day of Spring...as it happened on the back of a lovely run of dry weather; our fields are now drier than they were at any point during 2015s dreadful summer. Lets just hope it holds for a few more days, and maybe weeks! Best of all, all my washing has that line-dried, spring-like perfume that has saturated the fibres so you keep getting an awakening whiff when you make the bed in the morning.

While the days have been dry there is still a fair nip in the air, and especially as darkness falls; and until things dry up completely there are still long days spent in the byers with the wheelbarrow and shovel dyting out the dung!

Time then to try out some recipes that can quickly be thrown together at lunch time and then are ready to serve up when the byers are done at tea time. A melt-in-the-mouth shin of buffalo stew is just the business! When a shin of buffalo is slow cooked, magic happens – this is easy, humble, warming and thoroughly delicious. Here's the recipe...


Glug of olive oil

2 red onions, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

2 parsnips, finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped

3 or 4 cloves of garlic (or in these busy days I use the lazy stuff!)

1 tsp cinnamon

1kg of shin of buffalo (off the bone), cut into cubes

Salt and pepper

Spinkle of plain flour

Tin of tomatoes

Beef stock cube


It’s so, so simple. Heat the oven up to 170oC. In a moment of wanton preparedness, I chopped all the vegetables and popped them into a bag in the fridge with the cinnamon at breakfast time. So then come lunchtime it’s just a case of heating the oil in a large, heavy oven-proof pan on the hob and emptying in all the veg, frying for 5 minutes until softened.

Meanwhile you can chuck the pieces of shin in the empty vegetable bag and sprinkle over the flour. Give the bag a bit of rough and tumble so that all the meat is coated in the flour.

Then add the meat to the pan and give it a good stir about. Then add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and fill up the empty tomato tin with water and add that in to the pan along with the stock cube. Bring the pan up to the boil and then cover with a heavy lid and then pop into the pre-heated oven for at least 3 hours until the buffalo is meltingly tender.

Serve with some mashed tatties, and voila!

(And even better, hardly any dishes for washing up later!)

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