Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
(Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,)
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
(Great chieftain of the sausage race!)
‘Address to Haggis’, written by the bad-boy of poetry: the great Robbie (Rabbie) Burns, who lived fast and died young at the tender age of 37 in 1796, but not before bestowing us with a beautiful portfolio of work that is still remembered, recited and sung today.
For those of you who have always been a little bit afraid of the idea of Haggis (I was one of them), this is a good beginners recipe. Essentially, it treats Haggis like mince and turns it into something akin to a Shepherd’s Pie. And Shepherd’s Pie is not that scary at all, is it?
I made this dish for New Year’s Eve (or Hogmanay, as the Scots call it). I’ll admit, I was a bit worried about it. If we didn’t like it, there wasn’t any back-up plan for dinner. I’d sort of put all my eggs in one basket on this one, or all my offal in one stomach lining, so to speak.
Despite this, I found the cooking process really straight-forward. I made the pie in the afternoon and then come evening, had a stress-free time where all I had to do was put it in the oven for 45 minutes so that the top got nice and crispy and the cheese all bubbly.
And the eating? Absolutely delicious! Bring on Burns night!
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
(You powers, who make mankind your care,)
And dish them out their bill o fare,
(And dish them out their bill of fare,)
Auld Scotland wants nae stinking ware
(Old Scotland wants no watery stuff)
That jaups in luggies:
(That splashes in small wooden dishes:)
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
(But if you wish her grateful prayer,)
Gie her a Haggis!
(Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!)
RECIPE: Haggis Pie
INSPIRED BY: Delia Smith Online
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Rich and comforting with a topping of cheesy deliciousness.
GOES GREAT WITH: Gravy is a must. I served mine with Red Wine gravy, which was perfect. The pie on its own is great for a one-pot meal where you can spare yourself on the washing-up after dinner. However, if you’re craving a bit of green, I served mine with roasted asparagus. Green beans, mange tout, garden peas or kale would all also be delightful.
MAKES: Enough to feed 6-8
- 1 x 450g (16oz) HAGGIS
- 4 PARSNIPS, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 CARROTS, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 5 POTATOES, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- Small bunch PARSLEY, finely chopped (finished amount = roughly 1.5 tbsp.)
- 3 tbsp. BUTTER
- 2 glugs CREAM
- Small handful SAGE, finely chopped (finished amount = roughly 1 tbsp.)
- 2 GARLIC CLOVES
- 2 SMALL RED ONIONS, finely diced
- 40g (1.4oz) BLACK PUDDING, diced
- 40g (1.4oz) CHEDDAR, grated
- SALT & PEPPER
- Leave the skin and clips on the HAGGIS. Wrap in foil. Submerge in water in a large saucepan, top with a lid and bring to the boil. Then, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil the PARSNIPS and CARROTS in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain. Season with SALT and PEPPER, and mash with 1 tbsp. BUTTER and a glug of CREAM. Stir in the PARSLEY. Leave aside to cool.
- Fry RED ONIONS in 1 tbsp. BUTTER until translucent. Add the GARLIC and SAGE. Add BLACK PUDDING and fry until slightly crisp and the onions are golden.
- Boil POTATOES in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain. Season with SALT and PEPPER, and mash with 1 tbsp. BUTTER and a glug of CREAM. Fold in the ONION/BLACK PUDDING mixture.
- Pre-heat oven to 180c. Carefully unwrap the HAGGIS. Split open the skin and crumble the filling into the bottom of a pie dish, pressing down with the back of a spoon to create an even layer.
- Add the PARSNIP/CARROT mixture on top, smoothing to make it even.
- Finish with a layer of the POTATO mixture.
- Sprinkle the top with GRATED CHEDDAR and season with SALT and PEPPER.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 180c. if you are making it straight away. If you are preparing it ahead of time, bake it for 45 minutes from chilled.