The phrase 'thank God it's Friday' is one that resonates with most of us as the weekend approaches, but for haggis lovers this week, Saturday holds more reason than usual to celebrate.
Burns' night - and more specifically Burns' supper, where people around the world sit down to a traditional meal of haggis, neeps and tatties - is famed for its unique dining conventions that are staunchly Scottish.
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During dinner, the haggis itself is piped in on a large plate, before being addressed with its own poem, and finally toasted with - of course - a whisky or two.
But who says tradition must always be adhered to? If haggis is becoming readily integrated into other world cuisines (Glasgow institution Ashoka offers haggis pakora, for example), then perhaps expanding the repertoire of Burns' supper dishes is food for thought.
Ahead of Burns' night this Saturday, we asked top chef David Friel, of Glasgow's 29 restaurant, to come up with five alternative ways to cook haggis that don't involve serving it with neeps and tatties.
Haggis pie, anyone?
Black pudding and haggis risotto.
25ml olive oil
100gm Carnaroli risotto rice
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
100gm haggis chopped into cubes (if you like haggis, add more!)
200g black pudding (Stornoway)
100ml double cream 100ml
2 shallots, finely chopped
Salt andground pepper for seasoning
4 x thinly sliced pancetta
5ml olive oil
50ml dark chicken or beef stock
Touch of Dijon mustard
1finely chopped shallot
50ml double cream
1. Cook pancetta between silicone mats for 7 minutes or until crisp. Oven temperature 200C (Can be done between parchment paper)
2. Soak risotto rice for 20 minutes in cold water and rinse (gets rid of some starch and reduces cooking time).
3. Use thick bottomed pan and put on medium heat. Wait till pan is warm and add olive oil and then shallots and risotto rice. Add pinch of salt and pepper, stir with a wooden spoon for about 30secs to a minute (hearing the rice pop) and then add stock ensuring covering the risotto and reduce heat to low (simmer rather than rapid boil) stirring every minute and adding more stock when necessary.
4. After about 7 minutes, check rice is almost ready. Add cream, cook for another minute or 2 and add haggis. Stir for a minute more, then take off and put lid on pan.
For the sauce:
Warm a thick bottomed pan and add teaspoon of olive oil then shallots. Sweat off for a minute then add stock, Worchester sauce and Dijon mustard and reduce by half. Add cream and reduce by half again till coats spoon. Taste and season.
For black pudding:
Cut black pudding in just over 1cm slices, and cut in half to make half-moon. Pan fry black pudding for a minute each side and pop in oven for 2 minutes.
Spoon a tablespoon of risotto onto the centre of the plate. Criss cross black pudding on top of risotto, with pancetta on top of that, and add sauce between risotto and rim of the plate.
Haggis, mushroom and whisky pie
1 tablespoon of oil
1 onion, finely diced
250g unsmoked bacon, diced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
150mL chicken stock
4tbsp Scotch whisky
500g shortcrust pastry
1 beaten egg or milk to glaze
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the bacon and onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until golden.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
3. Remove the haggis from its casing, slice and stir into the bacon mixture with the stock and whisky
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes then allow the mixture to cool.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
6. Cut the pastry in half and roll out on portion on a lightly floured surface and use to line a round pie dish approximately 23cm in diameter.
7. Spoon the cooled haggis mixture into the centre.
8. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to top the pie, moistening the edges to ensure a complete seal.
9. Use pastry trimmings to decorate the pie.
10. Brush with beaten egg or milk to glaze and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35 minutes, until golden.
Serve with a well-dressed salad.
50g / 1¾ oz butter
50g / 1¾ oz plain flour
600 ml / 20 fl oz milk
1 large (approx 900g / 2 lb) haggis
A dozen sheets pre-cooked lasagne
3 - 4 large tomatoes, sliced, patted dry on kitchen paper
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 For the sauce, melt the butter, add the flour, stirring to form a roux then gradually add the milk, stirring or whisking to form a sauce. Stir for about 5 minutes then season to taste.
2 Cut open the haggis and crumble with your fingers. Scatter some over the base of a buttered lasagne dish. Top with some lasagne sheets then drizzle over a couple of tbsps of the white sauce, top with more haggis. Top with the tomatoes, season well, top with lasagne, another couple tbsp sauce then the remaining haggis, then remaining lasagne.
3 Pour the remaining sauce over the lasagne, top with the cheese and a drizzle of oil.
4 Bake, uncovered, at 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4 for 50 - 60 minutes, or until golden and the lasagne soft. (Check with tip of a knife). Rest for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting.
Shortcrust pastry (home-made or ready-made)
1 cooking apple
1. Open haggis and remove the contents from the skin/bag.
2. Line a pie dish or tin with shortcrust pastry.
3. Slice raw potatoes thinly as for Pommes Dauphinoise and lie the slices on the pastry base. Sprinkle over a little salt if desired.
4. Peel and slice a cooking apple (tart eating apples are fine too) and layer the apple over the potato.
5. Next put a layer of haggis.
6. You can carry on with more of these layers to suit your pie dish, or keep it shallow for quicker cooking.
7. Lastly break eggs over the pie, as many as desired. I use six.
8. Then cover the pie with another layer of pastry and seal the edges. Make a hole in the top so steam can escape.
9. Bake at Gas 5-6, depending on how your oven behaves.
Beef Wellington with haggis
700g beef fillet (fully trimmed with no silver skin)
4 slices of haggis
Ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg for egg wash
For the Pancakes
6 tbsp plain flour
1. For the pancakes; Mix the eggs, flour and milk together. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add a ladle of the mixture. Make the pancake as thin as you can and flip it to cook the other side. Make four pancakes and put on a cooling rack for later.
2. Season the beef and seal it off in a pan with a little butter then set it aside to cool.
3. Cut the puff pastry so that it will be big enough to cover the beef and haggis.
4. Line puff pastry sheet with the pancakes and then line the pancakes with the haggis slices. Place the beef in the middle and egg wash the edges of the pastry and wrap it around the beef. Seal the edges.
5. Place the pastry parcel on a baking sheet and brush it with egg wash.
6. Bake in a hot over at 200°C for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how you want the meet. Allow to rest for five minutes before serving.