We’ve started a new tradition. Last year, Kayleigh hosted her first Burns Night supper and this year decided to do it again. We lived together last year so I acted as sous chef and most of the cooking actually consisted of drinking too much, getting mashed potato everywhere and nearly forgetting to make the whisky sauce but we had fun anyway. This year, despite not living together anymore, I was more than happy to help out again.
^ the smile is down to too much wine and a generally good mood. not the Buckfast. Buckfast is gross.
Now, if you’ve never tried haggis then don’t knock it. Hands down, it’s actually delicious. Yes, it’s made of offal and fat and I can feel my arteries closing up just thinking about the stuff but it really is so, so delicious and hearty. Perfect comfort food.
Traditional Burns Supper (as I’m told by the real Scotswoman herself) is haggis, neeps (turnip) tatties (potatos) and whisky sauce. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that nobody in their right mind wants to make their own haggis, so if you want to recreate Burns Supper then you can find them in decent supermarkets or – as Kayleigh did – at the cash & carry. We made the mashed tatties super creamy by adding extra thick double cream, butter and chives and actually mashing it with an electric whisk (make sure you have a massive saucepan if you do this or potato will be all over your walls) to ensure top class creaminess. Chris wouldn’t have settled for anything less then this, he is forever on lump patrol when it comes to mash. Turnips were mashed with milk & butter.
I was determined this year to make top class whisky sauce. I’d had far too much wine by this point so, inevitably, any sort of measurement went out the window. I poured some extra thick double cream into a saucepan and added chives, dijon mustard, ground pepper and whisky until it tasted nice. I know that if you want to recreate this at home then this is deeply unhelpful but I will tell you this, any recipe that states to add 2 teaspoons of whisky to your sauce is lying. Personally, if you use this kind of booze in cooking a dinner dedicated to the good man Robert Burns then you need to taste it. I’m pretty sure half a bottle went into mine. YUM!
After a few too many helpings of haggis (*ahem* Chris…), poems and a good round of Cards Against Humanity, it was time for cheese & oatcakes. Home made oat cakes may I add!
You will need:
225g rolled oats
60g plain or wholemeal flour (not self raising)
½ tsp bicarbinate of soda
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt – I did find this recipe a little too salty but then again I never ever add salt into cooking. Personally I’d half this.
60g unsalted butter
70ml hot water
Pop your oats, flour, bicarb, sugar & salt into a bowl and give it a mix around.
Cube your butter and when it’s soft enough, rub it into the dry mixture. This may take a while but you need to make sure that there are no lumps of butter – it should look like breadcrumbs.
Add your water little by little and bring the mixture together with a knife, eventually you’ll need to get your hands in there and scoop everything out.
On a floured surface, roll out your mixture until it’s about ½ cm thick.
I used a half pint glass because my kitchen is lacking in many things (cookie cutters are on of them) to cut my dough out. Place them on a bakig tray & bake at 190º / gas mark 5 for half an hour. They’ll be getting golden on top when they’re ready.
Pair oat cakes with cheese, pate or salmon. And a glass of scotch, obviously.
We went home stuffed to the brim, pretty merry and really happy to have spent an evening with good friends.
Burns Night is fast becoming one of my favourite new traditions.