BURNS NIGHT: LIKE AMBER BEAD
By birth I am Scottish. Along with the obvious advantages this bestows (good looks, intelligence, generosity) there are one or three disadvantages. The love of Bagpipe music being one. Using the word Sassenach too many times in polite conversation is another. There’s also the little-known problem which afflicts those of Caledonian origin: they must keep up a regular intake of Haggis to maintain peak physical and mental health.
The result is that by the time Burns Night arrives one is literally sick to the stomach of the stuff. Actually, that’s not quite true, I love the stuff. It’s just the embarrassment of having staff at my local Waitrose greet me with a cheery “Hola Hermano, we have your Haggis waiting for you at checkout three”.
As I’ve already done the trad thing courtesy of HS I thought this Burns Night I’d play with the form a bit – it’s my birthright. The Haggis was broken up into pieces and whizzed together with an egg and some spices: turmeric, coriander, chilli powder and the like. I then moulded the resultant mixture into small patties (or shami kebabs) just a bit bigger than a falafel. These were then baked in a moderate oven until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside. Neeps were mashed and mixed with cumin seeds and olive oil. There was a little Mint Raita on the side.
For an impromptu supper it wasn’t too shabby although what really made it special was the accompanying drink, John Glaser’s impeccable Peat Monster Whisky (see Dos Hermanos passim). Monstrously good in my humble opinion.
For pudding a little Chocolate pot made from a water-based ganache with a little Whisky and some Orange zest mixed in…
…and another wee dram as a nightcap