If, like me, you love nothing better than a traditional supper to brighten up 25th January, then these Burns Night recipes should hit the spot!
Neeps & tatties
8 large baking potatoes, washed, peel left on and cut into 2cm x 4cm chunks
6 tbsp light olive oil or sunflower
1 swede weighing about 675g/11⁄2lb, peeled and roughly chopped
50g butter, plus extra for serving
The day before you want to serve, preheat the oven to fan oven 200C/conventional 220C/gas 7. Put the potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, return to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes, put them back into the pan and place it back on the heat for a couple of minutes to dry out.
Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large roasting tin (you may have to use two) and heat it in the oven until smoking hot. Now stir the potatoes into the hot oil and return to the oven to roast, turning occasionally, for 55 minutes.
Cook the swede in boiling salted water for 50-55 minutes, or until very soft. Drain and add to the roasted potatoes. Roughly mash everything together, keeping quite chunky, then cool, cover and keep in a cool place.
To serve, preheat the oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/gas 6. Uncover the potatoes and swede, dot with the butter and put in the oven to reheat for 25-30 minutes, stirring now and again until piping hot. Serve with lots of butter.
Preheat the oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/gas 6. Remove the outer packaging from the haggis then prick all over with a fork, wrap in foil like a baked potato and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
To serve, split open the haggis with a sharp knife and spoon the contents over neeps and tatties or serve separately.
2 tbsp medium oatmeal
300g fresh British raspberries
a little caster sugar
350ml double cream (we used Jersey double cream)
2 tbsp heather honey
2-3 tbsp whisky, to taste
To toast the oatmeal, spread it out on a baking sheet and grill until it smells rich and nutty. It will not darken quickly, so use your sense of smell to tell you when it is nutty enough. Cool the oatmeal.
Make a raspberry purée by crushing half the fruit and sieving. Sweeten this to taste with a little caster sugar. Whisk the double cream until just set, and stir in the honey and whisky, trying not to over-whip the cream. Taste the mix and add more of either if you feel the need.
Stir in the oatmeal and whisk lightly until the mixture is just firm. Alternate layers of the cream with the remaining whole raspberries and purée in 4 serving dishes. Allow to chill slightly before eating.
....and enjoy! The traditional Scottish Gaelic toast when raising a glass to say 'cheers' is Slàinte mhath which is pronounced slan-ge-var.