The Scottish celebrate Burns Night the 25th January, to commemorate their national poet Robbie Burns, all over the world and at the centre of the festivities is the noble haggis. Contrary to the belief of non-Albions a haggis is not a rare 3-legged animal to be hunted in mountainous Scottish regions but a savoury pudding using offal. The haggis was made famous by the Robert Burn’s poem ‘Ode to a haggis’ in 1787, which immortalised this dish.
Haggis is made from the innards of a sheep, with oatmeal, spices and flavourings. Traditionally all parts of a sheep were used, waste was not an option! It has a wonderful peppery backnote which complements its oaty meatiness reminiscent of a spicy sausage. There are vegetarian haggis widely available too.
HAGGIS STUFFED MUSHROOMS
Stuffing small mushrooms with haggis makes a super accompaniment to serve with drinks, especially on the 25th January, Burns Night.
300g pack of small open chestnut mushrooms
1 red onion, chopped
1 Bramley apple, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Salt and black pepper
If necessary, remove most of the stalk from the mushrooms, wipe them and place on the baking tray. Melt the butter and fry the onion on the Simmering Plate until softened, add the chopped apple and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Cool.
Mix the onion and apple with the haggis, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg. Season. Pile the mixture into the mushroom cups and top with grated cheese.
2, 3, 4 and 5 oven AGA: Slide the ceramic baking tray onto the floor of the Roasting Oven (AGA Total Control, AGA60 and AGA eR3 Series use the floor grid) for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked and the cheese has melted.
Conventional cooking: Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6 and cook in the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes.
This must be the ultimate Scottish pancake! A savoury pancake flavoured with haggis with rolled oats for added texture. These make a great accompaniment to a Scottish breakfast.
Makes about 22-25
115g plain flour
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
25g rolled oats
2 small eggs, beaten
Strips of roasted red pepper
Sieve the flour, seasoning and baking powder into a bowl and mix in the haggis, oats, eggs and milk. Mix well to form a batter of dropping consistency.
2, 3, 4 and 5 oven AGA: Lightly oil the Simmering Plate, (with a little oil on a piece of kitchen paper), then drop tablespoonsful of the mixture onto the surface. Cook one side, when bubbles appear on the surface flip over and cook the other.
Conventional cooking: Use a lightly oiled large frying pan over a medium heat to cook the pancakes.
Serve with breakfast or if you are serving them as a savoury accompaniment with drinks strips of roasted red pepper or spread with cream cheese.
By Dawn Roads, AGA Specialist