Saturday 25 January 2014

How to serve (vegetarian) haggis

It is Burns Night.  The day to celebrate the great Scottish baird, Rabbie Burns.  E being an expat, loves to celebrate with haggis.  When I first started making him vegetarian haggis (recipe at end of post), I thought that the only way was with neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and potatoes).  Since then I have discovered lots of fun way to eat it.  Here are some of my favourites.

Haggis neeps and tatties.  This is a traditional way to serve it.  The photo is from the Kenilworth pub in Edinburgh when we visited last.  It is so hard to make it look attractive.  I set myself the challenge of finding interesting and pretty ways to serve it. 
Beer Battered Haggis Balls This is what we ate tonight.  More about the recipe later.  When I have more time.  For now you can just know that I finally succumbed to frying the wee blighter.  What could be more Scottish! (Update: the recipe is now up - follow the link from the title.)

Festive Haggis Wreath.  We had this at Hogmanay just passed.  Haggis, bashet neeps and mashet tatties are layered, wrapped in puff pastry, shaped into a wreath and decorated with the offcuts.

Haggis baked potatoes.  We had this on St Andrews Day last year.  Baked potatoes with haggis and relish, accompanied by some coleslaw on the side.  Inspired by the Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street, Edinburgh.

Haggis stuffed mushrooms: A simple matter of stuffing mushrooms, grating some cheese on top and baking.  Then top with tomato sauce, which goes exceedingly well with haggis.

Haggis nachos.  Haggis, salsa and cheese layered with corn chips.  Baked til melty.  Served with guacamoles and sour cream or yoghurt.  Inspired by the Last Drop pub in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh.

Haggis pasties.  I mixed up some haggis with chunks of turnips and potatoes and baked in hot water pastry.

Haggis and cheese mole nut roast with chocolate and red wine gravy.  Ok this one was exceedingly challenging.  And fun.  And yummy.  I think the name says it all.

Haggis burgers are easy to make with a bit of tweaking to make the haggis mixture more clumpy than crumbly.

That's not all.  I have also served haggis in pizza, tacos, crepes and on pasta.  The possibilities are endless.  (I use it like a vegetarian mince meat.)  More Burns Night links can be found at BuzzFeed.  I hope you have a great Burns Night.

Vegetarian Haggis Recipe
From International Vegetarian Union
Serves 4-6
This is the standard recipe I use for vegetarian haggis.  It is very flexible.  Any nuts can be used (I usually use cashew, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts or whatever I have about).  I sometimes substitute other vegies for carrot and mushrooms (red pepper, tomato, etc).  It is fine to use less butter or more whisky

2/3 cup (65g) rolled oats
2/3 cup (65g) oatmeal
generous ½ cup (65g) nuts, finely chopped
120g butter or margarine
2 medium carrots
1 large onion
125g mushrooms
1/2 x 400g can kidney beans (a generous 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp yeast extract
1 tbsp whisky, or more
1 tsp freshly ground pepper, or more
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
3 tsp dried herbs
pinch salt if required

Melt 30g of the margarine and cook oats, oatmeal and nuts for about 3 minutes over medium heat in a large frypan. Transfer to a large bowl

Finely chop carrot, onion, mushroom, and beans. It is easiest to use a food processor so the mixture is very fine. Melt another 30g of the margarine in the frypan and fry the vegetables and beans for about 2 minutes.

Return oats and nut mixture to the frypan with the vegetable mixture. Mix in the remaining ingredients (including the remaining margarine if desired - you may need some vegetable stock if you don't include it) and cook another 5 minutes. 

Place in a greased and lined 13 x 22cm loaf tin (I use a silicone one which I don't grease). Press down and smooth with the back of a spoon. Cook 40 minutes in a moderate oven.


  1. The beer battered haggis sounds insanely good. Yes please! :D And the stuffed mushrooms look great, too. I think I might have to buy one of the veggie haggises that are currently in our local Waitrose.

  2. You are so creative! I wish I was having haggis for dinner tonight. It would be tough to choose a favourite but I love the sound of haggis nachos!
    Hope you had a lovely Burns night meal.

  3. I had no idea there were so many ways to serve haggis, Johanna. Simply amazing! Happy Burns Night to You and Yours! And, thank you so much for sharing...

  4. So creative! I remember having vegetarian haggis when I was in Scotland years ago. I was so amazed that they had it!

  5. These are all geeat haggis ideas. I especially love the idea of beer battered haggis balls.

  6. Went to a Burns party yesterday with veg and non veg haggis, songs and poetry. Great fun!

  7. Made your haggis and tomato-cinnamon sauce with mashed tatties for Burns Night. So good! Thanks!

  8. What an interesting holiday! I think I’ve had haggis before, but the haggis wreath and the beer-battered haggis balls are calling my names! So many lovely dishes! Happy Burns Night to you and your beautiful families!

  9. I wouldn't trust anyone but you for vegetarian haggis serving suggestions. :-)


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