Burns Night

Burns Night is a great excuse to enjoy my (somewhat dubious) Scottish heritage. Last week I cooked a couple of times, from a very simple rendition, to a more complicated one.

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Haggis is a wonderful ingredient and can be either the main event or a supporting player. It’s already starting to appear on more menus and I’m sure it’ll feature in plenty if dishes this year!

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Neeps (or Turnips/swedes) are not high up my list of favoured vegetables – there’s a reason we don’t eat them the rest of the year! I choose to interpret them as roasted parsnips which add a welcome crunch and the sweetness is great with the spicy haggis. Mashed potato is an obvious staple – but you can leave it out if you’re doing more courses as the haggis is quite heavy.

My favourite rendition is this – Scottish Venison, served pink, on haggis and spinach, roasted parsnips and figs, with a whisky cream sauce.

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The flavours work really well together – I love the spicy sweet combo of the haggis and figs. The spinach adds some freshness and the delicate note of the whisky in the creamy sauce ties it all together (flame off the sauce carefully!)

For dessert people often serve cranachan, I like doing another Scottish staple – marmalade. This recipe is one of my favourites and the result is a light and fluffy sponge with a lovely whisky orange sauce. I added some fresh ginger ice cream and a bit of crumbled flapjack for texture. The very cold weather meant that I could chill my ice cream mix to almost freezing on the balcony before churning it, making it very smooth and silky!

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Slàinte!

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