Saturday, 30 January 2016

Scottish Haggis Pie recipe for Burns Night or any night!

It was Burn's Night this week and since I was visiting friends in Germany I thought it might be nice to give them a taste of Scotland with a variation of haggis, neeps and tatties- a haggis shepherds pie.

haggis pie Burns Night

Our local butcher sells haggis all year round and I'm sure others do to so this is not something you can only eat once a year. It makes a nice change from normal mince-based cottage or shepherd's pie and if you manage to find microwaveable haggis as I did it doesn't take long to prepare.

I topped my pie with mashed potatoes blended with mashed swede and carrots which gave it a lovely golden colour.

swede and carrot mash Burns Night


I also poured a miniature sized bottle of whisky over the haggis which added flavour and moisture - you could add 4 fl oz beef stock instead.

So what is haggis? Hmm well to be honest I wouldn't read the label unless you have a strong stomach. It's fundamentally offal with oatmeal, onion, suet and stock. It basically tastes like a dry peppery mincemeat. It always used to be encased in a sheep's stomach but more usually found in an artificial plastic casing instead.

haggis, burns night


My German friends were very game and all tried my pie- even their 14 year old gave it a go. An African visitor staying with them also ate it, albeit with the addition of some pretty hot chilli powder sprinkled over the top. I was told she adds this powder to everything so I was not be offended!

If you'd like to make my pie (serves 8) you will need:

5-6 medium potatoes
1 small swede
2 carrots
2 haggis
salt to season vegetables
1 tbsp butter
optional: 1 5cl Scotch Whisky miniature

Method

Peel, chop, boil, drain and mash potatoes adding salt and butter to taste. Add a drop of milk to make mash even creamier.

Peel, chop and boil swede and carrots together - these take quite a while so allow to simmer for at least 25 minutes. They need to be soft enough to mash easily.

Combine mashed potatoes, swede and carrots together, adding salt, pepper and butter to taste. A few chunks of the swede and carrot are fine.

Cook haggis as per instructions. My brand was microwaveable and two haggis took just 5 minutes to heat thoroughly after I had removed them from their plastic packaging.

Using a fork break up haggis until it resemble mince. Spread in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. I used a large lasagne dish.

Pour whisky over haggis or add stock or gravy if preferred.

Top haggis mix with potato, swede and carrot mix and using a fork push down lightly then make fork track patterns at will!

Bake in pre-warmed oven (160 degreesc/320F) for half an hour.

Serve with vegetables of your choice. I chose to serve mine with roast potatoes and parsnips and sugar-glazed carrots (my German friend's contribution)

a Burns Night haggis pie

On Burn's Night before eating celebrating diners often recite this prayer, The Selkirk Grace, said to have been delivered by the poet himself when asked to say grace while visiting the Earl of Selkirk.



Some Folk hae meat that canna eat,
And some can eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
So let the Lord be Thanket!

I had a go at this, complete with terrible Scots accent. The Germans listened politely but were obviously slightly baffled. Ah well!



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