Oh, haggis. Robert Burns loved you; most Americans hear about your ingredients and can barely finish their breakfast sausage. But you’re a really beautiful, brilliant, delicious thing, and I’m a lucky girl because one of the excellent butchers near my flat makes it in-house and it’s fabulous.
For the past few days, my husby’s been waxing rhapsodic about haggis, neeps, and tatties–a traditional (I believe) Scottish supper dish, and what Honey wants Honey gets. The dish is typically made with a steamed or baked haggis and mashed root vegetables, but I thought that might be a bit too much soft on the plate, so I opted to make a root vegetable hash. The result: fantastically delicious and wholly satisfying. I paired it with a really lovely, slightly spicy Spanish wine I picked up at Waitrose for the princely sum of 4 pounds. Livin’ large, here.
Haggis: Hard to find in the U.S., everywhere over here. Many balk at the idea of eating a food that’s mainly offal, forgetting entirely that that’s basically what all sausages are. Haggis is a type of sausage and mostly tastes like the spices that are used in it. Be bold and give it a try–you might surprise yourself.
Neeps: We thought the neeps were parsnips, but they’re actually turnips. By the time we realised, the parsnips (a root veg that looks like an anemic carrot) had already been purchased, so I threw them in as well and found they added a welcome sweetness to the dish.
Tatties: Potatoes. Get some nice firm ones that stand up to roasting.
Haggis with Neeps and Tatties Hash
1 small haggis, traditional or vegetarian
2 medium-sized potatoes, diced large
1 medium swede (the vegetable, not a tourist) or 2 turnips, diced large
2-3 parsnips, sliced chunky
1 small onion, sliced crosswise
3 slices or rashers of bacon or cubed smoked pork
Brussels sprouts, split lengthwise
Bring a pot of water to the boil on the hob. Add the swede/turnips and boil for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and parsnips and boil another 3-5 minutes, until just starting to get slightly fork tender. Drain and cool slightly.
In a frying pan, saute the bacon until it starts to color or render fat (if you’re using streaky bacon). Add the onion and saute together for about 2-3 minutes, until the onion takes on a creamy color.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 farenheit.
Put the parboiled root vegetables and brussels sprouts in a bowl and toss with olive oil and herbs (I used thyme and rosemary). Add the bacon and onion and toss.
If the haggis is in an outer packaging, remove it. Prick the haggis all over with a fork and wrap it in aluminum foil. Set it in the middle of a baking dish and arrange the roasting vegetables around it. Roast for 40 mins to an hour, until the vegetables are browned and the haggis is steaming. Split the casing around the haggis and scoop out the insides to serve with the veg.