Every year Mr C convinces me to cook Burns Night supper for him, playing on his Scottish heritage. I’m always very happy to do so on the proviso that we have a veggie-friendly haggis. With only two of us, cooking a haggis each would seem pretty extravagant.
Whilst we were living in the states I came up with this recipe (or roughly this one anyway) for a vegetarian haggis so that we could carry on the tradition. It’s worth noting that I’ve never tried real haggis so I’ve based the flavours of this recipe on the veggie versions that I’ve eaten in the past. The vegemite and miso work wonders at adding some savoury, umami notes and using white pepper as well as black really helps with the seasoning.
50g pearl barley
50g red lentils
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 heaped tsp shiro miso
100g kidney beans (canned)
2 tsp vegemite
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
pinch of seasalt and plenty of black and white pepper to season
Bring a pan of water to boil and add the barley, cook for 15 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for 10 minutes more, until the pulses feel tender. Turn off the heat, drain away any excess liquid, add the oats and leave them to absorb the last of the moisture.
Whilst you’re waiting for the pulses to cook finely chop the onion, carrot and mushrooms and fry them in the oil until the onion is golden and the vegetables are tender, add the miso and cook for a moment or too longer. Once they’re cooked pop the veggies into the bowl of a food processor and add the kidney beans, vegemite, sugar, thyme, nutmeg and seasoning. Whizz it up to combine everything but don’t make it too smooth. Add the pulses and briefly blitz it again.
Take a longish length of clingfilm and pile the mixture onto it. Wrap it up and roll it into a fat sausage shape, twisting the ends tightly. Wrap the haggis in foil and fold over the ends to seal it. Now you can either leave the haggis to chill until you’re ready to cook it or place it in a steamer over a pan of boiling water. Steam the haggis for 45 minutes, then unwrap and serve with neeps, tatties and whisky sauce.