Thursday, 25 September 2014

Haggis & Apple Cottage Pie - an act of union

 I am very sorry for the disappointed Yes voters, who had good reasons for wanting independence, but at the same time sentimentally I am pleased that Scotland isn't leaving us. I wouldn't say that Scotland puts the great in Great Britain, exactly, but if you look at any list of British achievements, a fair whack of them are Scottish. Hypodermic needles, pneumatic tyres, thermos flasks, the telephone, the television, waterproof fabrics and penicillin, all invented, discovered or developed by Scots. And of course, the haggis (although that might be Roman...)

So, to celebrate the continued existence of the United Kingdom, I bought a haggis. I was intending to serve it with chips, peas and gravy, but then Rachel McCormack tweeted her recipe for a haggis, apple and potato tart, which I thought was brilliant. Hers was very elegant-looking - a flat puff pastry tart, filled with slices of potato and apple with crumbled haggis. Mine is not elegant, but it is tasty and a good entry point for people who are scared of haggis but still intrigued.

Whenever I make a recipe that needs a carrot/onion/celery base, rather than trying to find a single stick of celery, I make a large quantity, sweated down in a bit of oil, and then freeze it in portions for later. A thawed bag of that - on this occasion celery, leeks, onions and carrots - was my base. A couple of dessert apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped, and a haggis, broken into large chunks.

I made up some instant gravy paste, and flavoured it with some cider brandy, and made a strongly mustardy mash (hence the lurid yellow colour). As I dolloped the Colmans mustard into the pan of spuds, I realised that I had ingredients representing all the parts of the United Kingdom - leeks for Wales, potatoes for Northern Ireland, apples and hot English mustard for England and the haggis for Scotland. My sense of kitsch got the better of me, and instead of roughing the mash up with a fork, I traced a union jack onto the surface with the point of a knife. When it came out of the oven, I was delighted to see that it had held. There's a metaphor there.

6 comments:

sharonfruit said...

I love it! Some things are just meant to be together ;o)

Joanne said...

I love how this is a mix of all things UK! TOtal comfort food.

The Cat's Mother said...

Clever. What was the result like to eat? It looks interesting.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Sharon - thanks!

Joanne - it really was.

Mother - tasty! The apple and gravy give (very necessary) moisture and the haggis is nicely spicy.

Pam said...

I've been following the Scotland issue, and they definitely had a large turnout for voting. Your haggis pie looks delicious and I'd love to try it!

grace said...

i'm definitely one of those people who's afraid of haggis, but this does sound quite nice!

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