Burns night supper

Next to the New Year and St Andrew's day, the Burns night supper on 25 January is the most important day in the calendar of a traditional Scot. A celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems, guests would be piped into the event.

Most hosts would make a welcoming speech, and some would recite Burns' Address to a haggis.

Haggis is very much a Marmite dish: You either love it or hate it. A concoction comprising the less palatable inards of a sheep minced with onion, suet and oatmeal and all encased in its stomach. Fortunately the squeemish and vegetarians amongst us can opt for a widely-available vegetarian option. But if you want to follow tradition and make your own, you will need a strong stomach and a good butcher.

Outside of Scotland, few people would bother to make a haggis in their own home, prefering to opt for a ready made one. McSweens offer both the traditional one and a vegetarian option.

The meal would start with soup: Either cock-a-leekie or Scotch broth and this recipe from Mrs Beeton will serve 10.

Accompanying the haggis would be tatties and neeps. Mashed potatoes and swedes to those south of the border. Peeled and cubed, the vegetables are boiled and then mashed with a knob of butter. For perfectly smooth veggies then one of our vintage potato mashers and vegetable mashers will produce the best results.

The main course would be followed by a traditional Scottish trife called Typsy Laird. In reality no-one would get particularly drunk consuming this as there was so little alcohol in it.

The meal might be finished off with a selection of Scottish cheeses served with oakcakes like these from Orkney company, Stokans.

Coffee would be accompanied by speeches and copious amounts of the Scots' favourite tipple, whisky.

Posted in High days & holidays

Published on 24/01/2018 21:06:00
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