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Shanks a lot

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I traveled to Scotland last summer to play a few rounds in the birthplace of the great game of golf. As most avid readers know I am an avid golfer, outdoor enthusiast and lover of babes wearing plaid.

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If you have never been to Scotland I highly recommend it though there are a few things you should know.

It’s a beautiful picturesque country but the weather sucks, kind of a cross between Seattle and Death Valley in our country.

Secondly, they talk funny over there. You may need an interpreter if you go; the language is like a cross between Southern Alabama and Bangor, Maine in our country.

But an afternoon of smacking little balls around in inclimate weather with people you can’t understand is an epic adventure. Sort of reminds me of my second honeymoon. So I set out for a round of golf at Scotland’s famous Royal Bonny Wee MacLoch Ness Mulligan Golf Club and Water Park.

And was I amazed!

First off, golf courses in Scotland resemble a cross between American farms, beaches and old Indian villages. Rugged terrain, gale force winds and sand traps that are as big as strip mining pits in West Virginia.

Next, almost everybody wears skirts, even the guys! Imagine my surprise when my caddie, Haggis MacAngus leaned down to pick up my ball out of the hole. The mental image made it hard to concentrate. They also refer to each golf hole on the course by a name, not by the number of the hole. Number three is dubbed “Olde King Cole’s Merry Olde Hole”. Thirteen is “The Hole in the Wall” and the par 3 seventh is called “The Butt Hole”.

After I finished my round and toweled myself off it was time to head back to the clubhouse which looked like a castle in a Monty Python movie, and tally up my scorecard.

I admit I was not up to par, but as I sat at the bar and was poured a snifter of 12 year old Scotch whiskey by an 18 year old Scotch wench I realized my game was still bad because all I did was shank the ball right all day long.

It was all in all a good day on the links; I had an appetite so I ordered another traditional Scotch dish.

Sheep Shanks

2 Tbs. Butter

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

3-4 Lamb Shanks

2 Cups Onion, Chopped

2 Cups Carrots, Diced

2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and Chopped

1 Tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger

Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Cumin

1 ½ Cups Beef Stock

1 14 Oz. Can Scottish Coconut Milk

1 Cinnamon Stick

2 Bay Leaves

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Lime Juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a dutch oven toss in the veggies and sauté for 10 minutes.

Season the shanks and brown them. Reduce the heat add stock and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat again and add the cinnamon and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 2-2 ½ hours or until meat is tender.

Serve over veggies and sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice.

Check out the hilarious slideshow and video for some more of Scotch vacation.

Guid cherrio the nou everybody!

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