Why not take your taste buds on a Highland fling this Burns Night and help celebrate Scotland's bard by hosting a Burns supper with a difference?
It wouldn't really be a Burns supper if the menu didn't include haggis in some shape or form, but with Scottish descendants scattered all over the world, the traditional supper now often incorporates seasonal variations and contemporary twists.
These easy haggis recipes show you how to serve up a selection of haggis fuelled canapés to get your supper started, teach you how to cook the perfect traditional dish, and explore some contemporary haggis creations that will bring Burns bang up to date.
As long as the emphasis of the evening is excellent company, delicious food and a dram (or three) of a good single malt, then the great man himself would surely approve. Enjoy!
Haggis bon bons with whisky marmalade
600g of haggis
150g of flour
150g of Panko breadcrumbs (available in Chinese supermarkets)
750ml of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
150g of orange marmalade
35ml of whisky
1 Roll the haggis into balls weighing 25g each
2 In three separate trays, place the flour (seasoned), beaten eggs and Panko breadcrumbs
3 Roll the haggis balls in one tray at a time, ensuring that you drain/dust off any excess before placing in the next tray
4 When bread crumbed, put a large pan on to the heat with the oil. The oil must not come more than half way up the pan in order to cook safely.
5 Mix together the marmalade and whisky and place in a small serving dish in the fridge
6 With a temperature probe, raise the oil to 160ºC (alternatively, you can pop a few breadcrumbs into the oil until they begin to sizzle)
7 When the oil is hot, pop the bon bons in for around 2 minutes or until golden brown
8 Serve with the whisky marmalade
Half a haggis
Large bag of plain tortilla chips
Large jar of salsa
Jar of jalapenos, sliced
Large tub of sour cream
Large tub of guacamole
Block of Scottish cheddar cheese, grated
A handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 Heat the haggis in the microwave. Do this by cutting open then disgorging the contents into a microwave bowl, cover with cling film and heat for a few minutes, stirring often until piping hot.
2 Meanwhile empty the bag of tortilla chips onto a large plate. Dollop generous spoonfuls of salsa over the chips and add a few jalapeños.
3 Once the haggis is piping hot, dot spoonfuls on top of the chips, then top with the cheese
4 Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and is bubbling
5 Top with some spoonfuls of sour cream, guacamole and roughly chopped coriander to finish
Haggis and stilton pizza
For the pizza base:
300g of strong bread flour
1 teaspoon of instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
For the tomato sauce:
100ml of passata
A handful fresh basil or 1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 garlic clove, crushed
For the topping:
125g of ball mozzarella, sliced
A handful grated or shaved parmesan
A full cooked haggis
A wedge of stilton cheese (optional)
Make the base:
1 Put the flour into a large bowl, and then stir in the yeast and salt
2 Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough
3 Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth
4 Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it's not essential for a thin crust.
Make the sauce:
1 Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste
2 Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base
Roll out the dough:
1 If you've let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls
2 On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven.
3 Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
Top and bake:
1 Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8
2 Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf
3 Smooth the sauce over bases with the back of a spoon
4 Scatter with cheese and, drizzle with olive oil and season
5 Cover generously with haggis (place in microwave for 2 minutes first, then spread across the base on top of the cheese)
6 Place in oven for 8 minutes at 210 degrees / Gas mark 6, before removing to add stilton, return to oven for a further 3-4 minutes and serve straight away
Haggis scotch eggs with mustard mayo
12 quail eggs, cooked for 1/2 minutes in boiling water, then drained and cooled under the cold tap and peeled
125g of good quality plain sausage meat
125g of haggis
1 tablespoon of flour
1 egg, beaten
20-30g of fresh white breadcrumbs
20-30g of oats
Vegetable oil for deep frying
For the mustard mayonnaise:
2 tablespoon of good quality mayonnaise
1tablespoon of grain mustard
Half a tablespoon of chopped parsley
1 Mix the sausage meat and haggis together then divide into 12 balls and flatten them into patties
2 Wrap the meat around each of the eggs evenly, moulding it with your hands
3 In three separate trays, place the flour beaten egg and breadcrumbs
4 Put the eggs through the flour first, shaking off any excess, then through the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs, re-moulding them if necessary
5 Pre-heat about 6cm of oil to 140-150C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer
6 Cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes, turning them every so often so they are evenly coloured
7 Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper
8 Mix all of the ingredients together for the mustard mayonnaise.
9 To serve, either cut the eggs in half, then cut a little of the rounded end so that they stand up straight with the larger cut face upwards and spoon a little of the mayonnaise on top, or simply serve them whole with the mayonnaise in a separate dish
Warm haggis salad with pan fried scallops and bacon
a bag of mixed salad leaves
170g of haggis
3 rashers smoked streaky bacon
Olive oil for frying
1 Form the haggis into small pats and pan fry on both sides
2 Grill the bacon and store both in a warm place
3 Pan fry the scallops in a pre-heated pan, with a little olive oil; cook on one side for about 1 minute until seared then turn over and sear the other side
4 Dress the salad and place on centre of a plate
5 Dice slices of haggis and bacon rashers and scatter over salad and around. Place scallops on top.
6 Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over and around scallops.
Finally, for the less adventurous types, here's a recipe for a traditional Burns supper.
Traditional haggis, neeps and tatties with a whisky cream sauce
A 500g haggis
250g of swede/turnip, cut into quarters
200g of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
450g of potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons of gravy granules
200ml of double cream
1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
25 ml of whisky
1 Heat the oven to 200C
2 Wrap the haggis in foil, place in a pan and pour boiling water half way up it. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, for the neeps and tatties, bring a separate pan of salted water to the boil, add the swede/turnip pieces and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until tender
4 At the same time bring the potato pieces to the boil in a separate pan of salted water, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until tender
5 Drain well, then return to the pan, add all of the cream and half of the butter to the potatoes and the remaining half of the butter to the neeps mash until smooth
6 Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
7 When the meal has only a few minutes of cooking time left, make the cream sauce.
8 Make up the gravy with 100ml ofboiling water and place in a saucepan with the cream, mustard and chives
9 Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and add the whisky
10 Unwrap the haggis and cut in half
11 Squeeze out each half of the haggis onto plates and pour over the cream sauce
12 Serve with the neeps and tatties
And finally, celebrating Burns Night is an excellent excuse for toasting Scotland with a good Scottish whisky, so why not finish off you meal with this Atholl Brose cocktail created by Greg McCulloch, bar manager at Rogano in Glasgow?
If you have a favourite whisky, stick with it, but if you don't have one yet, you might want to give Dewar's 12-year-old a try.
This is Greg's adaptation of a Scottish classic so forget the porridge and kick start your day with an Atholl Brose - the perfect way to toast the bard!
2 spoon of runny heather honey
2 shot of Dewar's 12 Year Old Scotch whisky
1½ shots of oatmeal water
¼ shot of Drambuie
¼ shot of Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira
½ shot ofd ouble (heavy) cream
Dust with grated nutmeg
1 Prepare the oatmeal water by soaking three heaped tablespoons of oatmeal in half a mug of warm water. Stir and leave to stand for fifteen minutes. Then strain to extract the creamy liquid and discard what's left of the oatmeal.
2 To make the drink, stir honey with Scotch until the honey dissolves
3 Add the other ingredients, shake with ice and fine strain into chilled glass