Friday, 25 January 2013

First, catch your Haggis!

It’s Burns Night here in Scotland, when we sing and dance and address the white chieftain o’ the pudding race itself – the delicious Haggis. But first we have to catch the wee beastie!

The official Great Scottish Haggis Hunt website is fabulous fun. You can read up on old haggis myths, get some top haggis hunting tips, look up facts and find out about the zoology of the wee beastie. There is a haggisclopedia of common jargon and haggis spotting cams pointing to lots of beautiful and wild looking places all over Scotland. If you are lucky enough to spot the rare Golden Haggis, there are even prizes to be won!

On Burns Night in the Horton household we will be partaking of a wee dram and baking our haggis. The Haggis Bake below is my own (now famous!) recipe and if you want to try it, I can guarantee it’s absolute deliciousness!
Haggis Bake.
You will need:
One large haggis (I’m using a traditional
Macsween of Edinburgh haggis).
1kg lean Scottish steak mince.
One large onion.
Two tbsp plain flour.
Tin of chopped tomatoes.
One and a half pints of beef stock ( I used OXO cubes x 3)
Potatoes (peel as many as you think you will need to cover a large shallow oven dish) then slice lengthways into medium thick slices and part boil.

Brown the minced beef in a large pan with the chopped onion. Add the flour. Stir and cook until the flour is absorbed. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes and the beef stock. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cover.
Cook the haggis by following the instructions on the wrapper. For this recipe I used the microwave method. Chop up the cooked haggis and add to the minced beef and gravy. Stir and add boiling water if more liquid is required. The oats in the haggis will absorb a lot of the liquid and you should allow for this. You probably won’t want to season the mixture as the haggis is well seasoned.
In a separate pan, parboil the sliced potatoes for about 5 minutes. You want them half-cooked and still firm. Drain in a colander. Transfer the beef mince and haggis mixture to a large shallow oven dish and arrange the slices of potato on top.
Brush with melted butter and pop into a moderately hot oven. This would be the middle shelf of the roasting oven for an range cooker or 190 degrees/ gas mark 5 for a conventional oven. Bake until bubbling and golden brown for approx 30-40 minutes. Serves 6-8  generously. Enjoy with seasonal vegetables like ‘neeps’ and carrots.
 Happy Burns Night everyone!


Melanie said...

Here's tae us! And of course, the Great Chieftan o' the Puddin' Race.

Been busy hunting the haggis since the season opened and have bagged a number o' the wee beasties. Especially, the rare Golden haggi. Maybe they isnae sae rare after all?

Have a brilliant Burns Night, Janice!

Janice said...

Hahaha! I knew you'd be the first on the haggis hill baggin' your wee beastie for the festivities, Melanie Robertson King!

Happy Burns Night!

Janice xx

Sheryl Browne said...

Sound delish! Unfortunately, the haggis is definitely lesser spotted in Droitwich. Have a good one, Janice! :) xx

Anonymous said...

Janice sounds like a great recipe - 'neat' haggis not all it's cracked up to be IMO. My own personal favourite is the haggis puddin' sliced and fried, of course.
Enjoy the party!
Ali B

Nicky Wells said...

Um... *wavers* I'm thinking about it. I'm scared! Great-sounding recipe, Janice, and Happy Burns Day (and Night) xx

Janice said...

Hi Sheryl, Ali and Nicky - I must admit to loving haggis. I like it 'neat' with my sunday brunch, I love it with gravy, tatties and neeps, I love it stuffed into a chicken breast with a whisky sauce (Chicken Balmoral)and of course in my own Haggis Bake. What's not to love!!?

PS. You can easily order a prepped haggis on line if you don't have the wee beasties running all over the hills behind your croft!

Myra Duffy said...

That sounds really delicious, Janice - I'll certainly try it!

Kit Domino said...

I really must try haggis one day, especially if swimming in whisky. Never had the opportunity to try.
Hoots Mon! And enjoy the party. X

Mandy said...

I absolutely LOVE haggis!! Thank you so much for the recipe - it looks easy enough for Lady B to attempt! Will let you know how it goes!!

Mandy x

Joan Fleming said...

A new way to serve haggis, Janice. It sounds delicious!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I've had that recipe since you first shared it on your country cottage blog, Janice - and I still haven't made it! Must remedy that as it sounds delicious.

Janice said...

Yay - happy haggis baking!

Rosemary reminded me that in 2009 I did a 'Year in a Country Cottage' blog. It was my first foray into blogger land and great fun. I documented my cottage life from January to December and included snippets of gardening, my dogs, life in general and a monthly recipe of my own. The blog was placed and 'highly commended' in Candis Magazine Blog Writing Competion that year.

I just popped over there to update the side bar - as it looked a tad dated - but if you'd like to check out A Year in a Country Cottage' this is the link:

Janice xx

Miriam Wakerly said...

Looks really yummy and do you know what? I am sure I can smell it here in my study - tantalising savouriness. I am thinking of breeding them now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice .. sounds like you had a good night last night .. and a wee? head??

Fun - and loved reading your recipe ... sounds perhaps a better idea mixing in the haggis ...

I don't like whisky at all .. but there's plenty of other choices out there ..

Hope you're having a good weekend .. amongst the snow and now melting landscape ... Hilary

Janice said...

Thank you Miriam. Luckily I'll be enjoying haggis again next week at a friend's 'Big 0' birthday party. She's having a Burn's supper party and it's being held near here at Ellisland - which was once the Dumfries home of The Bard himself!

Hi Hilary - thank you for your lovely comment. We have about 8" of snow here but the thaw has started, thank goodness. I don't mind a sip of malt but I much prefer wine actually - and you know they say you shouldn't mix the grape and the grain. Happy weekend to you too!

Love, Janice xx

Linn B Halton and Lucy Coleman said...

I will most certainly try this recipe Janice - mouthwatering. We've had haggis and neeps several times when on holiday in Scotland. The best ever was a visit to a distillery, where a range of age whiskies was served together with the traditional dish. It was heaven! So wish we could wend our way back to bonnie Scotland again some time in the near future! Thanks for sharing. Lxx

Janice said...

Yes, Linn - I agree - the haggis and the water of Scottish life go with each other very well indeed. I do hope you can wend your way back here in the near future too and thanks for your lovely comment!

Janice xx