Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Haggis Cottage Pie and My Top 6 Whiskies for Burns Night

We love Scotland. It has to be our favourite holiday destination in the UK and we always leave with dreams of moving there one day. It is such a beautiful country, has lovely food and of course the best alcohol! So each year when Burns Night comes along we celebrate with a haggis served with neeps and tatties, all washed down with a wee dram, or two!

As much as we love haggis, it can be a bit a bit of a strong flavour for the children. That is how this recipe came about. But this also helps your haggis go that bit further if you are preparing a meal for more than 3 people. While we were in Scotland last year we had a fantastic haggis dinner at the Glenfiddich distillery. It was beautifully layered and came complete with a whisky sauce. This is where my idea for styling this dish came from. But what makes this haggis dish different is that it also contains Scottish Aberdeen Angus minced beef as well as other vegetables other than the classic neeps and tatties!

This is what I did...

Haggis Cottage Pie


200g haggis
200g Aberdeen Angus minced beef
1 onion
2 carrots, chopped
150g mushrooms, chopped
750g potatoes, peeled and chopped
500g swede, chopped
Salt and pepper


1 - Place the potatoes in a pan on boiling salt water and so the same in another pan with the chopped swede, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until soft enough to mash

 2 - Unwrap the haggis and place in a microwavable dish, place in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes

3 - While the haggis is in the microwave heat a deep frying pan or saute pan and add the mince beef and onions, cook gently for 5 minutes stirring regularly

4 - Once the mince starts to brown add the carrots and mushrooms and continue to cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes

5 - Once the mince is thoroughly cooked remove the haggis from the microwave, break up and add to the mince

6 - Combine thoroughly the haggis and the mince beef mixture

7 - Drain the potatoes and the swede returning them to their individual pans

8 - Mash both the potatoes and the swede and seasoning with salt and pepper according to taste

9 - Using a spring form cake tin ring (I used 2 small ones, each served two, but you could use just one) create the layers by placing the tin ring on the serving plate and spooning in the haggis and beef mixture, ensuring that you pack it down tightly

10 - Next add the mashed swede and like with the haggis ensuring it is compacted down

11 - Finally add the mashed potatoes on the top and fluff the top into small peaks

12 - Carefully release the spring form tin so that it opens fully and gently remove from the pie

This is a great meal to introduce haggis to anyone that is not too sure. The spices from the haggis combine perfectly with the beef to create this delicious meal that is perfect for Burns Night. Of course this meal needs to be accompanied by a drink of Scottish whisky. I do find that whisky is a real personal drink. But pictured below, with this dish, are just a few of my favourites (yes we do like a good whisky!)

  • Bruichladdich Octomore 6.1 - The 6.1 is the sixth edition of the Bruichladdich experimental whiskies. This Islay distillery have used the worlds most heavily peated barley to make this drink. So if you like a peaty whisky this one will certainly satisfy you needs!
  • Glenfiddich IPA - This is a new bottling from the whisky giants Glenfiddich and is unlike any whiskies that they have produced in the past. The IPA whisky is the first of their 'experimental series' and if this whisky is anything to go by, I cannot wait to taste the next ones. After they collaborated with a Speyside craft brewer, who created a 'bold and zesty' IPA to brew inside the Glenfiddich oak casks. These casks, with their hoppy notes, were then used to finish the distilling process of their IPA whisky and it has resulted in a beautifully smooth whisky.
  • Glenmorangie Tusail - Glenmorangie whiskies are one of my absolute favourites and I am gradually working my way through their different whiskies. Tusail was one that my hubby bought for me for my birthday last year while we were in the Highlands. Tusail is their 6th release whisky from their award winning Private Edition range. As with most Glenmorangie you have the fruity, citrus tones but this one has such a depth of flavour thanks to the added spices. This has to be my favourite Glenmorangie so far!
  • Glenkinchie - This was a bottle that I bought when we visited the Glenkinchie distillery. It is a lovely distillers edition that is only available to buy directly from the distillery. This non chilled filtered whisky has a kick to it!
  • Aberfeldy Bits of Strange - This is a treasured bottle of whisky. I bought it at the distillery in Aberfeldy while we were on holiday in Pitlochry a few years ago. The reason why this is such a treasured bottle is because it is no longer available. It was a limited edition whisky that they created to commemorate the musician King Creosote and Found's Bits of Strange Homecoming Tour. This is an extremely rare bottle but it had to be opened. Only 318 bottles were produced and I have bottle number 178. This 16 year old, single malt, single cask whisky is 55.1% has a kick with the decadent sherry undertones.
  • Glenlivet Founders Reserve - If you are looking for a good everyday whisky then this is a great bottle.

Now all that is left for me to say is happy Burns Night if you are Scottish and if you are not, use it as an excuse to enjoy some amazing Scottish produce! Sláinte!

Enjoy x

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  1. Ah Burns night has come and gone and we all try to enjoy haggis as best as we can. I make something similar, but its encased in pastry, its also veggie. Hope your well.

  2. Still not had haggis and am borderline in my fifties - this must change and soon but can never be convinced of whiskies

  3. This is one for my hubby, whisky is his fav topic! Not quite in the same league but he has a collection of JD memorabilia, one bottle is worth ...ahem, quite a lot, prob not wise publicising that to the web! As for the haggis, I only tried it once in Aviemore is was delicious, never had it since...need to remedy that!

  4. i'll pass on the whiskies but that haggis pie looks seriously yummy.

  5. Oh I love Sheps Pie - with Haggis hey!! Yum


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