I haven’t had haggis in about eight years, since having it as part of a Full Scottish Breakfast near Edinburgh. Our local M & S had it on the shelf, they must be getting ready for Burn’s Night early. My knowledge of Scottish poetry gets as far as ‘The King sits in Dunfermline toune…’ Anything else I have gleaned from the pages of Ian Rankin’s excellent crime novels. Anyway, I digress, Robert/Rabbie/Robbie Burn’s Night is held on his birthday the 25th of January. It’s generally celebrated with a meal of potatoes, turnip or swede and haggis. Neeps and Tatties! And a wee dram of whisky. I prefer to have my whisky at the end of the night and opted for beer with the meal.
My first thought was to have Scottish beer and Brew Dog’s 5 AM Saint is always a safe bet. A quick search of the interweb had given me the idea of a Belgian Dubbel to compliment the food. A dilemma faced me. Luckily Marcus ‘Reel Deel’ Robinson provided me with the perfect solution. Neck the 5 AM while cooking and enjoy the Westmalle Dubbel with the meal. I wrapped the haggis in tinfoil and put it in a water filled dish in the oven as per the instructions. I then peeled and chopped the veg, I steamed the spuds and boiled the turnip. The haggis exploded in the oven! It was my own fault as I had the heat too high. Oops. Still, it tasted ok and was cooked perfectly. I added salt, white pepper and butter to the turnip and mashed it. ( Is it just me or is that the only time anyone uses white pepper?) I added salt, black pepper, butter and a little nugmeg to the spuds before pounding them. The beer went well with what is a fairly heavy meal. It’s pretty sweet so you’ll sip it slowly. I have to say, while I enjoyed it, I think this meal is a little like Christmas dinner and best kept to an annual event. Sláinte!