“Scotland’s national dish provokes huge curiosity.”
~ MacSween Haggis
So why is haggis so closely associated with Scotland?
The answer lies in poetry and a Scottish writer called Robert Burns.
Today we celebrate Robert Burns Day…or Rabbie Burns, as he is fondly known.
All over the country, people will be gathering for a Burns Supper:
reciting the ‘Address to a Haggis’, eating, singing, listening to bagpipes and dancing.
Traditionally the meal consists of Haggis, tatties and neeps….
that’s Haggis with potatoes and turnip.
I’m not keen on turnip, so this is my modern version of a haggis supper!
Please note…haggis is not a wild animal that hobbles around the Scottish Highlands.
It’s simply lamb, beef, oats, onions and spices, nothing more, nothing less.
Haggis is basically like an oaty, spicy mince.
- 450g Macsween Haggis
- 450g potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced thinly
- 2 shallots, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, 1 minced
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 300ml beef stock
- 2tbsp Cranberry sauce (left over from Christmas)
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- slash of milk
- knob of butter
- sprig of thyme
- Pinch of salt, cayenne and grinding of black pepper
Simmer, mash, then cream the potatoes.
Simmer, mash, then purée the carrots.
- Microwave the haggis according to instructions, then wrap in foil to keep warm, until it’s time to build the tower.
- Cook the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for 12-14 minutes.
- Drain, season, then add milk and butter and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add the carrots, with a clove of garlic still in its skin and a small sprig thyme, to a pan of salted boiling water, then simmer for 12 minutes .
- Drain the carrots, squeeze the garlic out of its skin, discard the herb stalk and mash to a puréed consistency.
- Heat the oil in a small pan, add the shallots, then the garlic and sauté to colour.
- Pour in the beef stock, add in the mustard and cranberry sauce and whisk to blend.
- Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce, then taste and season with salt, cayenne and black pepper.
- Thicken using gravy granules or cornflour to create a smooth glossy sauce.
- Take ring mould and layer the haggis, then the pureed carrot and finally the mashed potato, then remove the ring.
- Spoon the shallot sauce around the tower and serve with a sprig of thyme.
- Serve with fresh green asparagus for a great colour contrast.
The shallot sauce is really enhance with the sweetness of the cranberry and the sharpness of the Dijon mustard.
A meal fit for the bard himself!
Happy Burns Day,