Haggis Neeps & Tatties

Traditional Dinner

Preparation Time: 1hour & 45mins (under 20mins using a micowave), Serves 4


Ingredients

904g Macsween traditional haggis (approximate weight is 900g)
(alternatively, if you are serving Macsween vegetarian haggis, you will need 2 x 454g; these will only take an hour to cook as they are smaller)
1kg turnip / swede / neeps (depending on what you like to call them!)
1-2 carrots for added colour in the neeps (optional)
1 kg potatoes (tatties). Use a good mashing variety like Maris Piper
Butter
Salt and pepper
Optional extras you could consider for serving are chopped parsley, diced beetroot (hot or cold) or a sauce such as whisky and cream, beer and onion etc.

 


Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2. Prepare the haggis for cooking - remove the outer vacuum pack bag and wrap the haggis in foil. Place in a casserole dish with a few centimetres of water to keep the atmosphere in the oven moist. Cook for 1 hour and 45 mins until piping hot. You can also cook the haggis in a pan of simmering water. Try to keep the water on a gentle simmer - you almost want to 'poach' the haggis. Whatever you do, don't boil it! Do be very careful when lifting the haggis out of the hot water at the end of the cooking.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables by peeling both the potatoes and turnips. Dice the turnip into 1 cm cubes and cut the potatoes in half if large. If including carrots, peel and chop. Try and cut the vegetables into equal sizes so they cook evenly. Place the prepared potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water. You will need a separate pan of cold, salted water for cooking the turnip and carrot.
4. Don't start cooking the vegetables until the haggis has had a bit of head start as this will take longer if you are cooking it in the conventional way.
Bring both pans of vegetables to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until they are soft, about 20-25 mins. The timings will depend on the size of the chopped vegetables. Test the vegetables with a sharp knife before draining, especially the turnips as they need to be nice and soft in order to mash properly.
Once the vegetables are cooked, drain them separately and allow all the steam and mositure to evaporate. This will ensure creamy potatoes and turnips that are not watery!
5. To mash the potatoes, add some butter, hot milk, salt and pepper to taste, and get mashing! How much of these ingredients to use is, to a large degree, personal taste, so add a little at a time until you have creamy, lump-free mashed potatoes.
6. To mash the turnips, add some butter, salt and pepper to taste. Turnips are really tasty with butter and black pepper so don't stint on these! Give the turnips and carrots a good mash, but it is recommended that you retain a bit more texture, so don't mash until creamy. This allows for a good contrast to the smoother, creamier texture of the potatoes in the finished result.
7. Keep the mashed vegetables warm.
8. Take the cooked haggis out of the oven and check it is hot. The skin should be tight and too hot to touch. You can check the internal temperature with a probe too if you have one. It should reach an internal temperature of 71C.


To serve

1. Hot plates are a must!
2. Cut open the haggis and spoon onto the hot plates, along with the mashed neeps and tatties.
3. Garnish the top with chopped parsley if you wish.
4. Haggis is also delicious with cooked beetroot, which could be used as a garnish.
5. For those who like a sauce with their haggis, you might like to try cream and whisky, cream and mustard, beer and onion or even mushroom. All of these sauces go well with haggis.
6. Whisky is often the other traditional accompaniment. However don't feel obliged to have it as lots of other drinks go just as well, if not better. The pouring of whisky over haggis is entirely up to you but we would recommend you enjoy them separately.

This is the timeless, no nonsense way to eat haggis.  If you are time-pressed, there are some short cuts you could take, such as microwaving the haggis (a 904g portion will take only 10 minutes - just remember to remove the casing first and chop into chunks).

There are plenty of ready-made mashed vegetables for sale these days, and they take about 3-4 minutes per pack.  The standard pack size is usually 400g and this would be plenty for 2 people.  If you add a sprinkling of parsley and a bit of cracked black pepper on the top before serving, then you might well have your guests believe you did all the peeling yourself! 

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