It’s been a fair bit since I posted anything and admittedly Burns Night was quite a while ago. But I’ve got one of those annoying ‘job’ things that I’ve had to do (for like money and stuff) and honestly haven’t had the time to write anything.
Ah well, best get back into it I suppose! Back in January it was Burns Night – I haven’t got a bit of Scottish in me, not one bit, can’t even claim the tiniest piece of me being Scottish. Quite like the place though; Edinburgh is up there with my favourite cities in the world. I’ve been there a few times with Uni, stag do’s and doing Tough Mudder a few years ago. During the ‘Mudder’ visit (and after a few sherbets) I had haggis pizza; mind – blown! Never had haggis before and even though it’s made from the bits of the sheep that you don’t normally eat (heart, lungs, liver, lips, eyelids, bleat) it somehow tasted really nice! Took me completely by surprise.
It seems the traditional way of having haggis, neeps and tatties is just kind of plonked on a plate. I’d been trying to think of a way to jazz it up a bit for a few months and getting nowhere, then I saw a Facebook post off a friend who did it all in a pie. I thought ‘that’s a good idea Hols’ so I stole it! (After telling her that I would, got permission and everything)
The haggis was pretty easy to get hold of; it was just sat there in the meat aisle. And again the turnips and potatoes (neeps and tatties) were in the fruit and veg part of any supermarket. I’m not 100% sure how to officially cook haggis but once it was open it looked a lot like cooked minced beef so I decided to use it just like that. The pie method was pretty simple:
- Fry the haggis with some onion
- Chop the swede and potato into small (sugar cube size) chunks and roast in the oven until just cooked
- Get some short crust and puff pastry (I always use ready-rolled; life’s too short to worry about puff pastry!) and line a tin with the short crust
- Fill the pastry with a mix of the haggis, neeps and tatties
- Put a puff pastry lid on top and brush some egg wash over the top
- Return to the oven until the pastry is cooked (about 1/2 hour or so)
The accompaniments to the pie included roast red onions and Tom Kerridge’s awesome Christmas carrots:
And some green stuff I found in Tesco (a mix of cabbage and leek). The beetroot sauce is a phenomenal cheats recipe; it is essentially some grated pickled beetroot that you get from a jar and added to gravy. Simple but severely yummy, you don’t need to slave over a stove for hours pickling the beets and then reducing and altering the sauce until it’s just right. Sometimes the simple options work out the best! It was then just a case of getting the pie out the oven and playing the food up.
And then pretending you’re Scottish.
The dessert (pic below) was my take on Cranachan. Cranachan is usually made with whipped cream but I found that to be a bit too rich for me, so I used thick Greek yoghurt instead.
To make the granola and oat cookies I pretty much followed the following recipe from Bake Off (but took out the stem ginger, not because I wanted to – I just didn’t have any to hand) :
Cranachan is a nice easy dessert to bash out:
- Once the cookies are baked let them cool and smash up a couple of them
- Mix some Greek yoghurt, a dram (or two) of whisky and some icing sugar
- Put a layer of the smashed cookies on the bottom of whichever dish you’re going to eat from, then the whiskey-yoghurt mix, then some raspberry sauce and finally some more of the cookies
- Add a few fresh raspberries for aesthetical reasons
- Put a couple of the cookies (covered in some chocolate) on the side and shovel into your face
And there you go, a kinda Burns Night supper.
Prep time: Around 1/2 an hour for measuring, mixing, peeling etc
Cooking time: About 45 minutes for the cookies, 90 minutes for the pie (including 10 mins for the haggis/onion, 30 mins for the neeps&tatties, and pie in oven time), 20 mins for the carrots, 5 mins for the greens and sauce. The cranachan can be put together in about 5 minutes.
7.5/10: Pretty good, but in all honesty I don’t thing I’ll make haggis in its usual form again. It’s just too much of a strong flavour that overpowered everything else. Will probably use it as a flavour enhancer in meat dishes though! Defo making the Cranachan and cookies again, they brought the score up from a 5/10 to a 7.5.