M. J. Dalton Butchers
The origins of haggis are somewhat mysterious, but the dish certainly dates back well before Robert Burns's era. Going back thousands of years, when the hunters returned with their kill, some of the meat could be salted or preserved, but some would need to be eaten straight away. The fresh, edible offals would be chopped and mixed with cereal and herbs and cooked over the fire in the ready-made container, the stomach.
A Burns Supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day or Burns Night, although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.
Burns suppers are most common in Scotland and Northern Ireland however there has been a surge in Burns' Night celebrations in the UK events industry seeing the evening being celebrated outside their traditional confines of Burns Clubs, Scottish Societies, expatriate Scots, or aficionados of Burns' poetry.*
900g Macsween Haggis
1kg turnip (neeps)
1 kg Maris Piper potatoes (tatties)
100 ml milk, warmed in the microwave
butter, salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/356 °F/ g 4.
- Prepare the haggis for cooking by removing the outer vacuum pack bag and wrap the haggis in foil.
- Place in a casserole dish with a few centimetres of water to keep the atmosphere in the oven moist. Cook for 1 hour and 45 mins until piping hot.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables by peeling both the potatoes and turnips. Dice the turnip and carrot into 1 cm cubes and cut the potatoes in half. Place the prepared potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and place the turnip and carrot in a separate pan of cold, salted water.
- Bring both pans of vegetables to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until they are soft, about 20-25 mins. Test the vegetables with a sharp knife before draining, especially the turnips as they need to be nice and soft in order to mash properly.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, drain them separately and allow all the steam and moisture to evaporate. This will ensure creamy potatoes and turnips that are not watery!
- Add the butter, hot milk, salt and pepper to the potato and mash! How much of these ingredients to use is, to a large degree, personal taste, so add a little at a time until you have creamy, lump-free mashed potatoes. Mash the turnips & carrot, adding butter, salt and pepper to taste, it is recommended that you retain some texture, so don't mash until creamy. This allows for a good contrast to the smoother, creamier texture of the potatoes in the finished result.
- Keep the mashed vegetables warm. Take the cooked haggis out of the oven, cut open and spoon into serving dishes, along with the mashed neeps and tatties.
1. Garnish the top with chopped parsley if you wish.
*information taken from Wikipedia