DIY – Burns Night at Home


Posted 5 months ago in Food and Drink

We’ve long been big fans of Burns Night, the annual supper in honour of Scottish poet Robbie Burns. As what seems like the longest month of the year wends to a close, we’re all for a celebration of Scottish excess to ward off the worst of the winter weather.

Those not heading over to the well-established annual shindig at L Mulligan in  Stoneybatter this Thursday still have loads of time to get themselves organised for a Highland fling at home. This Caledonian extravaganza requires some key ingredients, including Haggis, turnips, spuds and whiskey, a bit of tartan decor, and some advance research on how to Address to a Haggis.

Edinburgh-based haggis brand Macsween have lots of suggestions on how to organise a great DIY Burns Supper at home, with tips on everything from recipes to poems to preparing a three course meal, rounded off nicely with a selection of lovely Scottish cheese. They recommend kicking off the evening’s proceedings with a starter of Cock-a-Leekie Soup, while for mains it’s got to be Haggis.

Hunting The Haggis

Dublin observers of the tradition have seen these beauties stocked in Marks and Spencer’s Dublin branches at Liffey Valley and Mary Street in recent years. They can also be found at stockists Fallon and Byrne, or ordered directly from McLoughlin’s in Clondalkin. Further afield, we hear that delicious Irish handmade versions can be obtained from Jack McCarthy’s of Kanturk, who deliver nationwide, with advance ordering recommended.

Closer to home, if you have a word with your local craft butcher they may be able to rustle up something nice for you ahead of the big day, while you could even have a go at making your own with recipes for veggie and gluten free versions readily available online.

Neeps ‘n’ Tatties

Once the main ingredient is sorted, the next step involves the neeps ‘n tatties – or turnips and spuds to the uninitiated. Prep them in the usual way, cook them up, mash them through and you’re good to go.

Whiskey & Dessert

Then of course you’ll need a dram of whiskey.  The choice is yours… a drop of Scotch for the night that’s in it, or Irish if that’s your preference.

For afters, a boozy Scottish trifle makes for a tasty dessert, though we understand that traditionalists swear by the wonderfully comforting Scottish Clootie Dumpling Pudding. This spiced pudding comes studded with dried fruits, wrapped in a cloth and simmered in water over a long period, then roasted to perfection. We’re not sure where you can get that in Dublin, but we did find a great (and easy) recipe for it here.

Address The Haggis

After that, all that’s left to do is get the fire on, set the table and prepare to address the haggis. We’re reliably informed by our Scottish pals that this is the definitive version:

To a mouse!

Words: Martina Murray

Burns Night takes place on Thursday January 25th

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