Burns Night menu and haggis recipes – what to eat on January 25 – The Sun

Burns Night menu and haggis recipes – what to eat on January 25 – The Sun

January 25, 2021

SCOTS are celebrating Burns Night tonight, Monday, January 25 2021 to honour Scotland's most famous poet Robert Burns.

Here’s what you can cook for supper on Burns Night to mark what would have been his 261st birthday.

What do you cook for Burns Night Supper?

The Burns supper is a celebration of the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

To mark the occasion, there is a hearty feast on offer which is made up of haggis, neeps and tatties and copious amounts of whisky.

There are usually several toasts throughout the evening, with the night ending with guests holding hands singing Auld Lang Syne.

The celebration centres on the entrance of the haggis – a type of sausage prepared using a sheep's stomach stuffed with its own heart, liver and lungs – which is traditionally brought in to the sound of bagpipes.

The dish comes out after the soup course, which is a traditional Scotch broth or cock-a-leekie soup.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s what at the Burns supper:

  • Haggis: This is the heart of any Burns Night feast. This Scottish dish is made from the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep bulked out with oatmeal, onions, suet, seasoning and spices. The mixture is packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled before serving, and has the texture of a crumbling sausage.
  • Neeps & Tatties: This dish is the traditional accompaniment to haggis. It is basically boiled and mashed potatoes and turnips or swedes.
  • Buttered leeks: Leeks are often cooked down with thyme and butter for a simple but flavourful side dish.
Cock-a-leekie soup is served before the haggis and is a Scottish stapleCredit: BBC
  • Cock-a-leekie soup: This traditional Scottish soup is made from leeks and peppered chicken stock, and is often thickened with rice or barley.
  • Cranachan: This dessert is traditionally eaten on Burns Night, and is made up simply of oats, scotch, honey, double cream and raspberries.
  • Clootie Dumpling: This traditional steamed pudding is made with dried fruit and spices. It is enjoyed on Burns Night with some whisky and custard.
  • A wee dram of Scotch: Whisky is the traditional drink for toasting on Burns Night – it is as essential to a Burns supper as the haggis is.

How to prepare a haggis

According to Haggis UK – this is the best way to prepare your haggis:

In the oven

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4, remove the outer packaging of a 907g haggis (serves 4-5), but don’t remove the tight casing.
  • Wrap the haggis in foil, put in an ovenproof dish with some space around it, then pour in boiling water so it comes about 2.5cm (1in) up the sides of the dish.
  • Cook for about 1 hour 45 mins until piping hot throughout (topping up water as needed).
  • Remove skin and clips before serving.
  • Remember that timings vary according to the size and weight of your haggis. Please check the packaging for details

In a pan

  • Prepare a pan of boiling water, remove the outer packaging but not the tight casing, and submerge the haggis.
    Turn the heat down immediately. You don’t want the casing of the haggis to split as this will create quite a mess.
    Gently poach. As a guide, a 907g haggis (serves 4-5) takes around 75 mins but please check the packaging for detailed instructions.

In a microwave

  • Remove the outer packaging and the tight casing
    Slice into manageable slices – around 1cm think and then place in a microwaveable dish.
    Cover and heat on MEDIUM (see packaging for timings), stirring once during cooking and once before serving.

Who was Robert Burns?

Robert is the world's best known Scottish poet and was also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire or the Ploughman Poet.

He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, on January 25, 1759 – and passed away in Dumfries on July 21, 1796, at the age of 37, from what is believed to have been a long-term rheumatic heart condition

He was also an outspoken political commentator and remains a symbol of Scottish national pride.

Robert Burns was known as a pioneer of the Romantic Movement, as well as an inspiration for the founders of liberalism and socialism.

He was voted as the greatest Scot ever by members of the public in 2009, in a national poll run by Scotland's STV.

Why is haggis traditional for Burns Night?

In Robert Burns' day, haggis would have been a highly nourishing and very cheap meal for poor families to prepare.

In one of his most famous poems – his Address To A Haggis – Burns humorously celebrates his love for the humble delicacy.

The poet's work is traditionally read at a Burns' supper.

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