Burns' Night recipe: haggis, neeps & tatties

Burns' Night, held on 25 January each year, celebrates the life and poetry of Scottish bard, Robert Burns who was born on 25 January 1759. It's traditionally marked by a Burns Supper of haggis, some readings of Rabbie's poetry, and a fair bit of whiskey.

To help you celebrate Burns' Night at home, we've had Alan Gibb, Resort Executive Chef at The Gleneagles Hotel, put together a recipe to make your supper something special...

Pretty posh haggis, neeps, and tatties

Ingredients (serves four):

  • 1 x 450gm \ 1lb haggis (vegetarian haggis is also available... and delicious)

  • For the swede and saffron:
    - 250g peeled and diced swede 25g Butter
    - A pinch of saffron
    - Salt
    - Cracked pepper

  • For the potatoes:
    - 250g Potatoes (floury), peeled and cut to an even size
    - 150ml Milk
    - 50ml Double cream 25g Butter
    - Sea salt
    - White pepper Nutmeg
  • For the Whisky Sauce:
    - 10g Unsalted diced butter
    - 1 Shallot peeled and finely diced
    - 1 Small sprig of thyme
    - 1 Clove of garlic
    - 50ml of whisky
    - 100ml Veal stock or beef stock - reduced (or you could replace with vegetarian gravy, to make the whole dish veggie-friendly)
    - 100ml Double cream Small bunch of chives

How to make it

For the haggis:
Heat the haggis, by wrapping, in the packaging, in foil and submerging into a pan of boiling water, simmer until piping hot (this will take about an hour). When hot remove packaging and soften the haggis so it can be spooned... you may wish to add a splash of whisky.

Alternatively you could buy yourself one of the many varieties of vegetarian haggis on offer in the shops, if you feel a little queasy about what goes into a real meat haggis. In which case, simply follow the heating instructions on the pack, ensuring your veggie haggis is piping hot.

For the swede:
In a pot, place the swede in salted water, bring to the boil, add the saffron and cook until just cooked, drain into a colander.

Place the pan back on the heat, add the butter, allow to froth, add the swede back in and sauté until cooked and breaking up, pass through with a masher a few times. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then keep hot until required.

For the potatoes:
Place the potatoes in cold water, season with salt, bring to the boil and cook through. Once cooked, pass through a sieve.

Bring the butter, cream and 2\3 of the milk to the boil and add back in with the potatoes, beating well, adjust consistency with more milk if too thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg – keep hot.

To make the sauce:
Place a small pan on the heat, add the butter, then add the shallots and sweat until clear.

Add the garlic clove and thyme sprigs and sauté for a further minute.

Deglaze the pan with the whisky and allow to flambé to burn off alcohol, then reduce by 2\3.

Add the reduced stock to the pan and reduce by a half.

Add the double cream into the stock, bring back to the boil, check consistency and adjust as required, strain before using, keep hot.

To serve:
Take a large spoon of the runny potatoes and drag down the centre of the plate. Make a line of swede across the bottom of the potatoes.

Add a quenelle of the haggis to the centre of the plate, then pour the sauce over the haggis and around the plate.

Garnish as required with snipped chives, edible flowers and crisp potatoes.

Enjoy with some poetry, laughter and a wee dram o' whiskey.

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