forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Fri 25 Jan 13 1:05pm

Merlin

Member
Occupation Editorial assistant/general online chap
From London
Member since Wed 24 Oct 12

Burns Night!

"...but we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit."

Who's taking part? I'm always fascinated when I'm amongst foodies to see who is repulsed by haggis and who isn't. It's got to be one of my favourite meals, and I always feel it's a bit of a shame to see how many people insist on going their whole lives without even trying it!

People are often also split about their neeps and tatties. Mine have always been and always will be mashed together - how do you guys serve yours?

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#2 Fri 25 Jan 13 1:48pm

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Burns Night!

I won't be going but I will lift a glass or two of  highland single malt smile


The Universe is alive and self aware. 
Need proof?
Look in a mirror.
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#3 Fri 25 Jan 13 1:59pm

@nGoose1

Forum champ
Occupation Shop worker/KP/ Commis chef
From UK/Germany
Member since Wed 28 Oct 09

Re: Burns Night!

You've got good taste Merlin.
I had Haggis yesterday. Like Black Pudding, it scared me as a child. Now I think it’s really good. Mine cost £2, a good one, from a supermarket, feeds 3 people well. You are so right with Tatties and Neeps, mashed, seasoned well, butter and milk.
Scotland has some wicked food, Jamie has documented it well. I am looking forward to the whiskey barley recipe, from ‘Jamie Mag’, when I finally cook it.
I thought the Mussel dish from ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’ was also a killer dish.

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#4 Fri 25 Jan 13 2:04pm

Merlin

Member
Occupation Editorial assistant/general online chap
From London
Member since Wed 24 Oct 12

Re: Burns Night!

Thank you! I spent a good few years in Glasgow growing up so Scottish food has always been a love of mine. Glad to hear you're a fan of it too. Oddly it took me until last year to embrace black pudding (although consider it well-embraced now - I can't get enough of the stuff).

Have you seen the collection of recipes we put together for Burns night? Those mussels are in there, and you're right, they're incredible. http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-blo … t-special/

That whiskey barley recipe sounds awesome too - what issue was it from?

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#5 Fri 25 Jan 13 3:25pm

@nGoose1

Forum champ
Occupation Shop worker/KP/ Commis chef
From UK/Germany
Member since Wed 28 Oct 09

Re: Burns Night!

Merlin wrote:

Thank you! I spent a good few years in Glasgow growing up so Scottish food has always been a love of mine. Glad to hear you're a fan of it too. Oddly it took me until last year to embrace black pudding (although consider it well-embraced now - I can't get enough of the stuff).

Have you seen the collection of recipes we put together for Burns night? Those mussels are in there, and you're right, they're incredible. http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-blo … t-special/

That whiskey barley recipe sounds awesome too - what issue was it from?

The latest one, Comfort Classics. There was a booklet of recipes on the front of it. I think it was in that one. I used to visit the Maryhill/George Cross area when I was younger. Also East Kilbride. It was a long time ago.  I was not there for long. The Burns night link is awesome. I will try the mussel recipe again, another trip to the beach, hurrah!
If you get a chance, I recommend watching ‘Angels Share’, a superb film in Scotland/Glasgow, involving whiskey. I saw it bizarrely enough; in Germany a few months back. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1924394/

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#6 Fri 25 Jan 13 3:38pm

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: Burns Night!

I quite like Haggis ...once in a while....though I shan't be celebrating Burns night...

I find it quite strange that the English will quite happily embrace Burns night with Haggis or Scotch...and St. Patricks day with copious amounts of Guinness (Note the correct spelling of Guinness whistle ) yet we do naff all on St. Georges day.... hmm

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#7 Fri 25 Jan 13 4:01pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Burns Night!

you forgot St Davids Day wine-o , its really important here in Wales with all sorts of celebrations.

Haggis,no I have not tried it , I have seen vegetarian haggis on sale but have not bought it , I am wary of vegetarian substitutes as they often try to mimic the ' real thing' and that I realy dislike not liking the taste or texture of meats.

I have swede and potatoes which I will cook tonight , possible with some minced beef for my darling ,as yet I  I am not sure.

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#8 Fri 25 Jan 13 5:07pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: Burns Night!

What is Burns night?

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#9 Fri 25 Jan 13 5:54pm

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: Burns Night!

koukouvagia wrote:

What is Burns night?

In honour of Scotlands greatest poet...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Burns

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#10 Sat 26 Jan 13 11:36am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: Burns Night!

I love haggis.

I was supposed to be going to a big family Burns Night party - I was assigned to make the veg haggis and made one big enough for about 10 - but then the following happened:

My mother fell off a ladder and split her head open
I got a sick flu bug so bad I couldn't stand up
The village where the party was happening was entirely snowed in

So I guess it just was not meant to be sad veg haggis is now in the freezer for another day.

Was actually thinking of posting about haggis today, and asking who here has ever tried to make it. It's something people get freaked out about, and no wonder - every tartan tourist shop has those "traditional Scottish recipes" booklets and the teatowels with the haggis recipe, talking about hanging windpipes over the edge of pans and scrubbing out sheeps' stomachs and everything. It's enough to make any home cook run a mile, and no wonder, because making haggis is traditionally a butcher's job. Most people here would not dream of making it at home.

But here's the thing. It doesn't have to be scary. Because:

- You don't need to use a sheep's pluck. As far as I'm concerned, if you're not a butcher or a vet, leave the lungs of dead animals well alone. The idea of messing with windpipes in my own kitchen does not fill me with joy, and anyway, it's not necessary. You can switch up the offal - use just liver, or a mix of liver, heart and minced lamb, OR just minced lamb! It just has to be something vaguely meaty-tasting, as most of the flavour comes from the oats, onions and spices. the "offal" just gives depth to it. I make my veg haggis with well-fried mushrooms and a touch of Marmite, and I've had a hard time convincing people it's not the real thing.

- You don't need to put it in a casing. Personally I have never fancied making sausages at home, because feeding filling into a sausage casing is one of the grossest things the human eye can witness. And haggis is not a sausage, it's a pudding. You don't eat the skin, so it doesn't contribute anything to the eating experience. You can steam haggis in a basin like any other pudding, or even cook it in a casserole dish in the oven, and it turns out just the same.

These are the things that I love about Jamie's haggis recipe in Jamie's Great Britain. He tarted it up a bit too much for my Presbyterian sensibilities (bacon and whisky? In haggis?), but he switched up the offal for things which are easy to get and not intimidating, and he baked it in a casserole dish. Both of these things make it about a million times more approachable as a home recipe.

He also left out the suet and replaced it with broth, which I do with veg haggises - it makes the texture a touch less gorgeous, but also makes it less likely to take its revenge the next day, because traditional haggis, despite being a poverty dish, is insanely rich!

For anyone who's curious about what haggis tastes like but doesn't want to face the whole offal angle at all, take a recipe like Jamie's and replace all the offal with minced lamb. The result will be a little milder-tasting than the traditional version, but it won't be far off.

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