January: Burns Night and Other Haggis Recipes

Marmite, violet creams, haggis…

 

None of the above will leave you on the fence, you either love or hate them, personally I can’t wait for Burn’s Night, some of my very dearest friends are proud Glaswegians and we try to celebrate each year in the traditional way. An intimate dinner hosted by Brian, no bag pipes will have to be endured, though the pudding is addressed with Rabbie’s beautiful words:

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!…”

in a glorious Scots brogue, before the knife is plunged into the haggis.

For years the very thought of haggis made me nervous, then I steeled myself and had a mouthful. The main thing is not to think it about it too much, it’s a kind of peppery mince, melting and delicious, the traditional mash or neeps are obligatory on Burn’s night, and MacSweens are keen to get all of us tasting this Scottish invention, though not necessarily limiting our intake to once a year. Our lovely local deli ITALO serves haggis on the 26th of every month, and my children don’t need to be asked twice!

A little while ago I was sent a package by MacSween asking me to test out one of their recipes, of course I was delighted to help. It’s been a little busy with Christmas and new year, so I am going to take this moment to share the lunch in mid December. A perfectly thought out parcel, containing a traditional meat haggis, some cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, Parmesan and spaghetti and the recipe of what to do.

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The package from MacSween

 

I confess, I went “off piste” I did not have time to steam the beastie for 45 minutes or a microwave, so I gently sautéed the meat in a frying pan, lightly cooked the pasta and tomatoes separately and assembled everything with a flourish of Parmesan and some fresh nasturtiums that were still flowering on our roof terrace.

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We had to have a small glass of red to celebrate this great dish that had been so quick and simple to make – there was enough to feed 4 – 6 quite hungry bods.

I will definitely be doing this again, I may even try an original recipe of my own next time, it will be along the lines of a Persian Lamb Pilau…

Thank you MacSweens!

 

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