Sunday, 7 December 2008

Haggis & bashed neeps

Last weekend I thought I would take advantage of it being St Andrews Day to cook a haggis. Any excuse really - I like haggis! And it seems that I am not alone. An increasing number of Sassenachs are eating haggis because it is cheap and nutritious.

As it happens we didn't have it on St Andrews Day because we'd had an enormous lunch. But when we did get around to it, it was delicious! Not the famous MacSweens, this one was from Blackface, one of the excellent on-line meat suppliers in the UK.

We cooked it really simply in a bain marie covered tightly in foil, so that the skin didn't split and it stayed moist. I made some "bashed neeps" - mashed turnips. Now, what the Scots consider a turnip is what I call a swede and (apparently) some people call a rutabaga. Boiled, mashed with a good dob of butter and a grating of nutmeg it is a very nice accompaniment to the spicy, meaty haggis. I made a little honey, mustard and whisky sauce, but the flavour was pretty much lost. Still, it was warm, comforting and very delicious. And it's only 6 weeks to Burns Night when I have my next good excuse to eat haggis!

15 comments:

Esi said...

You're very adventurous with the meats you consume...at least to me. Still can't wrap my head around haggis.

Esi said...

Oh, by the way I think coxihna is pronounced co-shee-na and it's Brazilian Portuguese. I probably pronounce it wrong though.

Rachel said...

I personally wouldn't wrap my head around haggis as I prefer other kinds of hats.

You had me at bashed neeps, very tasty, but after reading a haggis recipe once in a Scottish cookbook where once left the windpipe hanging out of pot to whistle and let out impurities, I figured that would stay off my Omnivore 100 list forever. But I commend you on another interesting foodie post!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Foodycat, I would never be opposed to eating haggis. I look forward to having it someday. In Mexico and here in the Southwest US, we eat a dish called Menudo. It's made with tripe which many, many people turn their noses up to. I love it. It's made with red chile and hominy. It's a great hangover rememdy too!!

Heather said...

How'd you get your neeps so yellow? Happy St. Andrews Day!

Natashya said...

Eep! Haggis sounds scary to me. I do like my root veggies though.
In Canada, the big waxy ones are called rutabagas and the cute little ones are turnips. I haven't heard the word Swede used for them before.
I like the word neeps, sounds like something a muppet would eat!

Sam said...

This Sassenach loves haggis!

We had a burns night dinner last year, I bought the most enormous haggis I've ever seen, 12 of us couldn't even finish half of it!

Foodycat said...

Esi - I suspect if we were actually told what went into sausages, eating haggid isn't so adventurous! Interesting about the coxinha!

Rachel - if I had read that about the windpipe I might not eat it either!

Teresa - I am a bit scared of tripe. Whenever I have seen it in the butcher the texture puts me off! And the smell of the tripe stalls in Florence was pretty disgusting too.

Heather - they were a lighter yellow before I boiled them.

Natashya - apparently they were introduced to Scotland as a gift from the King of Sweden, hence Swedish turnips or swedes.

Sam - I have never seen a haggis so big!

kat said...

I've had haggis once at a Robert Burns dinner in Minnesota. I think I need to try it again because I don't think it was the best out there

Nikki said...

I have never had nor seen haggis till just now. Wow. Also, I think it's funny that people call turnips rutabagas because they are two different vegetables. I love, love, love turnips. I can take or leave the 'bagas. They're too bitter for me to enjoy alone. Even if I add butter, salt & cream. I have to mix them with other root vegetables to fully enjoy their complexity.

Foodycat said...

Kat - have another go with a good one!

Nikki - these swedes/neeps/rutabagas weren't strong at all. I was expecting a bit more peppery but it was almost as sweet as parsnip!

Johanna said...

Having been vegetarian long before I had opportunity to sample meat haggis, I was delighted when I lived in Scotland to discover vegetarian haggis - it is hard to buy in Melbourne but easy and yummy to make - and I don't need to contend with ideas of offal and tripe (ugh!)

If you are really into your haggis there is always hogmanay (1 Jan) as another good Scottish day for an excuse to eat it. We have done so the last couple of years and it always gets me lots of brownie points with my scottish partner

Sarah said...

You know.. I think I would I try it... as I get more curious about food the more that I want to conquer my fear... so... yes.. I would probably try it.. albeit a few shots of something strong or a good glass or two of wine might be required to get my gumption up...

hmmmm...

Foodycat said...

Johanna - that is a good idea but I am going to be in Sydney for Hogmanay, so it'll be harder to get a haggis! And staying with people who might not appreciate me making it in their kitchen...

Sarah - it quite often gets used as a stuffing for chicken breasts, or mushrooms, maybe try it that way?

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