Haggis, Neeps & Wee Tattie Scone Canapes with Red Onion Marmalade

Haggis, Neeps & Wee Tattie Scone Canapes with Red Onion Marmalade

Things to look forward to in January – Awards season, restaurant offers, Chinese New Year (this year), 6 Nations (but not this year) and Burns Night! Not that I need The Bard’s permission, but tucking into a plate of haggis in honour of his birthday on the 25th is as good an excuse as any 🙂  I usually run in the opposite direction of anything involving offal, but haggis is the one shining exception. It is a wonderfully savoury eat, all spicy and peppery, and with that fantastic texture that manages to be crumbly without being dry. Can you tell I’m a fan…?

Of course, it has to be Macsween’s. I have the most wonderful butcher at the end of my street that does their own haggis, but I just can’t quite bring myself to be unfaithful to Macsween. So when I was challenged by @Eat_Scottish to get #InspiredbyBurns and put a new spin on the immortal trinity of haggis, neeps and tatties I was beyond delighted to find a Macsween’s haggis in the box of goodies they sent to inspire me!

But what to do with it??  Hubby and I spent a night brainstorming ‘things to do with haggis’ and came up with this! Or a variation of, elements of which didn’t survive the testing weekend (thank goodness for a testing weekend!)

I love haggis as a main course, either in a traditional style or as a part of something else like balmoral chicken, but I adore it as a starter with something sweet and sticky. Stac Polly on Dublin Street is to blame for that, their haggis parcels in filo pastry with a plum sauce is the stuff of legend. And The Magnum’s haggis spring rolls with Thai sweet chili sauce inspired me to try making them myself. So I knew I wanted to try my hand at a starter or something finger foody.

I have to say, the blini-esque tiny tattie scones were an inspired idea, and credit has to go to Hubby for coming up with (and cooking!) that. We actually made a giant tattie scone first time round and then took a cookie cutter to it, but the edges weren’t as clean or, most importantly, as crispy as when you cut first and then cook. It’s a wee bit more fiddly but well worth it. Alternatively, buy ready-made tattie scones and cookie cutter out what you need before warming them up.

We cheated a wee bit with the neeps by adding a few carrots for colour, but it contrasted nicely with the tattie scones and tasted good to boot.

The red onion marmalade you can make beforehand as it keeps for about 2 weeks covered properly in the fridge (or buy a jar of ready-made, there are some good ones out there) Our original idea was to actually top the haggis with it but it ended up hiding too much of the good stuff so we shifted it down a layer, but made sure to still show it off.

I’m afraid, though, that we didn’t keep a track of actual measurements so please excuse my somewhat vague recipe below. The only consolation I can offer is that whatever is leftover is scoffable in any combination of whatever is left – Hubby and I were merrily left downing tattie scones and red onion marmalade, hardship!

Which just leaves me to say…
“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!”

Stuff you’ll need:
Haggis (Macsween’s microwaveable haggis provides a good amount for making lots of these)
Cold mashed potatoes
Flour
Mashed neeps and carrots
Red onion marmalade (recipe here)
Chives, snipped for decoration
Butter
Milk
Salt and pepper for seasoning

To make the tattie scones:
This is all about mashed potatoes but firm mashed potatoes so don’t make it fluffy and creamy like you’re going to eat it, with lashings of butter and milk. You don’t want to add anything to the potatoes when you’re mashing them except seasoning and a little butter.

Once the mash is cold, mix with flour using a ratio of 5 parts mash to 1 part flour. Get stuck in with your hands and work it until it feels like a ball of dough – drizzle a little oil if it’s still crumbly to help bind it together. Divide into tennis ball sized amounts and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Place the cold mash dough ball between two sheets of baking parchment or wax paper and roll out until it’s about the thickness of a pound coin. You want scones that are blini sized so use your smallest cookie/pastry cutter (or shot glass) to carefully cut out your scones.

Homemade tattie scones | fifigoesnom.com

Homemade tattie scones | fifigoesnom.com

Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add a little bit of oil. When hot, fry the scones for 4 minutes on each side.

Homemade tattie scones browning nicely | fifigoesnom.com

Homemade tattie scones browning nicely | fifigoesnom.com

Excess dough can be rerolled , but store any dough you’re not using in the fridge between rolling as you want it to be chilled and firm when you’re ready to roll it out.

To make the neeps:
Aim for a 3:1 ratio of neeps to carrot. Peel and cube, then boil for 20-25 minutes or until a fork goes easily through a cube. Drain and roughly mash (the bits of carrot poking through look great I think!) with some butter, milk and salt, and pepper to taste.

Roughly mashed neeps and carrots | fifigoesnom.com

Roughly mashed neeps and carrots | fifigoesnom.com

Assemble!

Cook the haggis according to the packet instructions and then break up in a bowl.

Grab a tattie scone and spoon/smear the mashed neeps and carrots on top. Take care not to overload it otherwise you’ll lose the taste of haggis, and make a mess when you’re trying to fit it in your mouth!

Add some red onion marmalade on top. It’s tempting to load this on but again you’ll risk losing the taste of haggis if you whack too much on.

Top with haggis and then sprinkle with snipped chives for a little colour.

I defy you not to eat your own body weight in these…

Inspired by Burns | fifigoesnom.com

Inspired by Burns | fifigoesnom.com

 

Haggis, Neeps & Wee Tattie Scone Canapes with Red Onion Marmalade
A bite-sized take on the traditional Burns Night supper.
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Stuff you’ll need...
  1. Haggis (Macsween’s microwaveable haggis provides a good amount for making lots of these)
  2. Cold mashed potatoes
  3. Flour
  4. Mashed neeps and carrots
  5. Red onion marmalade
  6. Chives, snipped for decoration
  7. Butter
  8. Milk
  9. Salt and pepper for seasoning
To make the tattie scones:
  1. This is all about mashed potatoes but firm mashed potatoes so don’t make it fluffy and creamy like you’re going to eat it, with lashings of butter and milk. You don’t want to add anything to the potatoes when you’re mashing them except seasoning and a little butter.
  2. Once the mash is cold, mix with flour using a ratio of 5 parts mash to 1 part flour. Get stuck in with your hands and work it until it feels like a ball of dough – drizzle a little oil if it’s still crumbly to help bind it together. Divide into tennis ball sized amounts and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Place the cold mash dough ball between two sheets of baking parchment or wax paper and roll out until it’s about the thickness of a pound coin. You want scones that are blini sized so use your smallest cookie/pastry cutter (or shot glass) to carefully cut out your scones.
  4. Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add a little bit of oil. When hot, fry the scones for 4 minutes on each side.
  5. Excess dough can be rerolled , but store any dough you’re not using in the fridge between rolling as you want it to be chilled and firm when you’re ready to roll it out.
To make the neeps:
  1. Aim for a 3:1 ratio of neeps to carrot. Peel and cube, then boil for 20-25 minutes or until a fork goes easily through a cube. Drain and roughly mash (the bits of carrot poking through look great I think!) with some butter, milk and salt, and pepper to taste.
Assemble!
  1. Cook the haggis according to the packet instructions and then break up in a bowl.
  2. Grab a tattie scone and spoon/smear the mashed neeps and carrots on top. Take care not to overload it otherwise you’ll lose the taste of haggis, and make a mess when you’re trying to fit it in your mouth!
  3. Add some red onion marmalade on top. It’s tempting to load this on but again you’ll risk losing the taste of haggis if you whack too much on.
  4. Top with haggis and then sprinkle with snipped chives for a little colour.
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!

Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!

Hubby and I do not need an excuse to break out the haggis and will happily devour it in most any of its incredibly versatile size shapes or forms.  Not content with its traditional chums of neeps and tatties, I’ve tried it Chinese style in spring rolls, Indian style in samosas, Mexican style in quesedillas, poshed up in filo pastry parcels with a sweet plum sauce, deep fried out the chippie, not to mention as an unmissable part of a “full Scottish” breakfast fry up!  I’ve even recently been sent a recipe for haggis lasagne which I’m very very intrigued by… (watch this space!).  But on Burns Night it really has to be eaten traditional style, which means the ‘holy trinity’ of haggis, neeps and tatties.

So we couldn’t let Burns Night go by without honouring Rabbie with a plateful of the good stuff, and the good stuff is hands down Macsweens!  Much easier to pop into the supermarket and buy one of theirs than chasing down one of the damn beasties in the wilds yourself 😉

I won’t lie and say that the ingredients aren’t a little offputting… In fact, I had quite the fight to get Hubby to try it at all but once he did he was quite smitten and probably has it more than me these days!  And if you can eat a hot dog then you can eat haggis, and at least the offputting in haggis is quality offputting…

But once you get past what’s in it, it really is properly delicious.  All peppery and spicy with an earthy and grainy and chewy texture that I’m really not doing justice to! Just trust me and try it, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised 🙂

Back to Burns Night 2013!  Here’s the before picture…

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties | fifigoesnom

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties | fifigoesnom

 

 

 

And here’s the after picture, with a requisite shot of whisky in the glass as well as in the cream sauce (delicious recipe courtesy of The Macsween Haggis Bible).

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties | fifigoesnom

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties | fifigoesnom

 

 And the after after picture 🙂  Haggis all gone…

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, the empty plate version | fifigoesnom

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, the empty plate version | fifigoesnom

 

And for desert, who could resist these cute “Babbie Haggies” jelly belly beans which, much as I love Scotland’s national dish, are only haggis coloured and not haggis flavoured!

Haggis, savoury and sweet | fifigoesnom

Haggis, savoury and sweet | fifigoesnom

 

Happy Birthday, Rabbie!

Thank you, Macsween!

Thank you, Macsween!

So… It’s safe to say that I’m very much a newbie blogger, and as such have been a little shy about self promoting in the belief that there’s no point telling anyone this blog is here until there’s a respectable amount of stuff to look at (one recipe does not an interesting blog make!)   After posting up my Haggis Spring Rolls recipe last weekend, I thought I’d tweet Macsween about it and hoped that, at best, they might like it enough to retweet me and I’d get a few more people popping by here.

Not only did the very very lovely people there retweet me, but they emailed me to say how much they liked the look of my spring rolls, and could they send me some of their delicious noms!  To say I was giddy with glee at getting such a response (and offer!) is an understatement, the more so because I picked up the email after having a wisdom tooth taken out and it put a much needed grin on my poor sore face 🙂

And then the delicious noms arrived…

Look at the size of that box!  And a lovely canvas bag too (Tim Minchin would be so proud!)

HOW much noms??

And a little bit of everything too!  Variety is the spice of life!

Thank you again, Macsween!  Like I didn’t already <3 you enough!

 

Haggis Spring Rolls

Haggis Spring Rolls

The first time I had these was in a fantastic wee pub called The Magnum, not far from where I live, that used to serve them as a starter with a sweet Thai chilli dipping sauce that just went amazingly well with the spicy peppery haggis.  I figured they couldn’t be that difficult, so I tried making them myself at New Year for my brother and sister-in-law and the results were none too shabby 🙂  Shamefully, I had to YouTube “how to roll a spring roll” first because I am, according to Hubby, the “most rubbish Chinese person in the world” (!) but that really was as tough as it got! To save you searching, I’ve tried to write up what I hope are simple yet sensible instructions, with pics so that you know what your roll-in-progress should look like.

I like to joke that Haggis Spring Rolls appeal to both my ethnicities at the same time, and this year when Chinese New Year and Burns Night were back to back these were perfect for satisfying two celebrations with one nom!

Ideally, use spring roll wrappers and deep fry until golden rather than bake, but spring roll wrappers aren’t the easiest thing to get your hands on so I’ve gone with filo pastry for this recipe which work just as well and should be readily available in your local supermarket.

If you’ve got friends coming round for dinner, these are great for making beforehand and keeping chilled until needed (I’d probably take them out of the fridge about half an hour before popping in the oven).  These are also a great way to try haggis for the first time if you’re a little nervous of the ingredients 🙂

Haggis Spring Rolls
Yields 4
A Scottish take on the humble spring roll, the best of both of my heritages!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
You'll need
  1. Approx 130g haggis (Macsween's microwave haggis is perfect for this as its already cooked, and half a patty per spring roll works out just right.)
  2. 4 sheets of filo pastry, approx 20cm by 20cm
  3. Melted butter for brushing
  4. Thai sweet chilli sauce for dipping
To start
  1. Get the oven on first, you want it heated up to 200C before you put the spring rolls in.
  2. Wet some kitchen roll or a tea towel and wring out so that it’s damp rather than soaking. Lay this over your stack of filo to keep the pastry from drying out as you take one sheet out from under it at a time to work on.
  3. Position the first sheet of filo so that one corner is pointing at you. Spoon one quarter of the haggis in the bottom part of the sheet, towards the corner nearest you but not touching the sides, in a sausage shape (if you’re using Macsween’s microwave haggis don’t heat it up first, put half a patty in a small bowl and loosen it up with a fork first).
  4. Start by folding the bottom of the sheet up and tuck it loosely against the haggis, too tight and the pastry might split later when you’re rolling it.
  5. Next, gently fold over one side, and then the other (it should look a little like an envelope) before rolling it up from the bottom. Stop just short of rolling it right up and brush the last exposed corner of filo with a little of the melted butter before rolling up completely, this will seal the roll.
  6. Place on a pre-greased baking tray and very very lightly brush melted butter over the top – too much butter and the rolls won’t brown, so you really want to touch the pastry with the brush and no more.
  7. Pop in the oven and bake until they’re a lovely light golden brown, about 15-30 minutes, give them a few to not burn your mouth, and then NOM!
Notes
  1. For tips on rolling the spring rolls, check out the photos below!
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/

To roll:

Wet some kitchen roll or a tea towel and wring out so that it’s damp rather than soaking.  Lay this over your stack of filo to keep the pastry from drying out as you take one sheet out from under it at a time to work on (thanks @si_watson for recipe testing and spotting this omission!).

Position the first sheet of filo so that one corner is pointing at you.  Spoon one quarter of the haggis in the bottom part of the sheet, towards the corner nearest you but not touching the sides, in a sausage shape (if you’re using Macsween’s microwave haggis don’t heat it up first, put half a patty in a small bowl and loosen it up with a fork first).  Fold the bottom of the sheet up and tuck it loosely against the haggis, too tight and the pastry might split later when you’re rolling it.

 Next, gently fold over one side, and then the other (it should look a little like an envelope) before rolling it up from the bottom.  Stop just short of rolling it right up and brush the last exposed corner of filo with a little of the melted butter before rolling up completely, this will seal the roll.

 Place on a pre-greased baking tray and very very lightly brush melted butter over the top – too much butter and the rolls won’t brown, so you really want to touch the pastry with the brush and no more.