Great chieftain o’ the pudding race

Through a combination of lost keys, the Northern line and the fact I’d bought a haggis of such a size (see below) that it would take two hours to cook we did not get to enjoy a traditional Burns night haggis on Friday night. A haggis is not just for the 25th though, oh no, and we managed to squeeze in a traditional supper, complete with neeps and tatties, on Sunday night.

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The beastie was bought this big for a reason, and that is leftovers. The innards of a haggis are more like peppery sausage meat than anything and the mincey texture makes them perfect for stuffing things, in this case pancakes.

This recipe is inspired by (or rather an attempt to recreate) the starter that we had at a friend’s wedding in the highlands of Scotland a couple of years ago. What turned out was less the relatively refined dish of that meal and something more akin to Scottish enchiladas but none the worse for it. It was a bit involved for a weeknight since it involved actually making pancakes but it’s just your bog standard Be-ro recipe. 100g (4oz) of plain flour, mixed in with one egg, with 300ml (or half a pint) of milk slow stirred in. Add a ladleful to a pan, cook for a couple of minutes until is golden underneath and then flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the other side. Once that’s done the pancakes just need wrapping round some haggis, about 2 or 3 tablespoons of haggis per pancake. The pancakes can be fairly manhandled, since they’re going back in the oven it doesn’t matter if they start to go a bit flabby.

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The sauce is 150ml of single cream, 1-2tbsps of whisky, a tsp of dijon mustard and salt and pepper. It needs a bit of reducing (this’ll help burn off some of the alcohol as well as thickening the sauce) and then spooning over the pancakes. Watch out for the whisky, it’s easy to splash quite a lot in and run the risk of it taking over everything (especially if all you’ve got in your cupboard is 12 year old single malt, ahem). To stop them looking so anaemic a) put them in the oven for about half an hour and b ) instagram them.

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This made enough for four people easily, with left over neeps from last night to offer some vitamins (what exactly constitutes a neep/turnip/swede is a question of geography semantics. It’s the bigger one of turnip/swede and should be orange when cooked. It’s actually delicious and I’m going to try and eat a few more while the greengrocer has them going cheap).

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