Food Diaries — an untraditional haggis supper for Burns Night

This has been a really good week for food at our flat. So good, in fact, that it’s inspired me to make writing about the food that I cook and eat a regular thing.

Most notable this week was our Burns Night supper — traditionally haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). But I’ve had that plenty of times before (my boyfriend, Steve, is Scottish) and I don’t like it all that much. Because when you’re given a simple mound of haggis on your plate (next to two other mounds of mashed root vegetable) then it is all the more difficult to ignore the fact it contains lamb heart, lungs and liver. Steve’s solution? To shoehorn haggis into other country’s cuisines.

Tonight it was my personal favourite of these creations — haggis nachos.

Haggis nachos

Gooey chilli cheese, crunchy edges, juicy tomatoes, tangy coriander and a scattering of soft, tasty haggis. I believe haggis really lends itself to nachos, as its deep flavour benefits from being thinly spread — permeating every mouthful with meaty, herby richness — while its crumbly, oaty texture melts into the other ingredients. Steve’s own recipe is below…

McXican nachos recipe

Feeds eight as a starter, or two/three as a main, depending on appetite.

For the salsa

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • Bunch of fresh coriander

For the nachos

  • Bag of plain tortilla chips
  • 1 haggis (preferably McSweens)
  • Salsa — see above
  • Bag of grated spicy mozzarella and cheddar cheese (Monterey Jack cheese if you can’t find the spicy stuff, or just cheddar if you don’t want to go all out)

To serve

  1. Heat the haggis, following instructions on the pack (for this purpose, microwaving it is easiest; leave yourself plenty time if you want to do the haggis on the hob)
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  3. Make the salsa — chop the tomatoes roughly, chop the onion finely. Chuck both into a bowl then squeeze the lime juice over and add loads of torn fresh coriander
  4. On a large ovenproof plate or deep dish, start layering. Line the dish with tortilla chips; generously spoon the salsa over; follow with the haggis; and cover with cheese
  5. Repeat step 4 to build up as many layers as you’ve ingredients for
  6. Bung in the oven for 20 minutes
  7. Serve with any leftover salsa, crème fraîche and guacamole


And that’s not all — Steve also made ‘haggis bonbons’ (thanks Emerald Street email for the recipe!) and, in the past, he’s made haggis dim sum. Yes that’s right — chinese-style dumplings with haggis inside. Below are pictures of our untraditional Burns Night supper plated up, followed by the haggis bonbons, followed by some whisky on fire, during the making of delicious whisky cream sauce that accompanied the bonbons. Proof that haggis can be made a pleasure to eat if you just use a little imagination!

Our complete untraditional Burns Night supper!  Haggis bonbonsWhisky on fire

All text and photos (c) Juliet Langton, 2012. All rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “Food Diaries — an untraditional haggis supper for Burns Night

  1. Looks yummy, but I still think I have a deep-rooted aversion to haggis. I see your point about being distracted from thinking what’s actually in it! Steve is ingenious! X


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