Last year a Scottish friend served me vegetarian haggis for the first time when I was in the UK. It was a shop bought one and it was really good so I decided to make one this year for Burns Night and as luck would have it 25th January looks like being the coldest day of the year here in Thailand which adds to the authenticity. Fortunately Felicity Cloake had done most of the leg work in researching how to make ‘The perfect vegetarian haggis’ of course I adapted things a bit from her recipe. This will serve six people.
So what do you need?
- 100g brown lentils
- 100g pearl barley
- 30g butter
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 250g mushrooms (finely chopped)
- 1 carrot (grated)
- 1/4 – 1/2 daikon radish (grated) (optional)
- 1 tbs light (mushroom) soy sauce
- 1 tbs dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp black pepper corns
- a pinch of celery salt
- a little cinnamon, nutmeg and 3 cloves
- 200ml hot water / veg stock
- 100g porridge oats
So what do you do?
Start by boiling the lentils and barley for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked but not too soft then drain them. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C / 350 F. Then melt most of the butter, about 20g, in a frying pan and start frying the onion once they start to soften add the mushrooms and a pinch of celery salt. Fry until most of the moisture from the mushrooms evaporates and they start to brown. Grind the pepper, cinnamon and cloves together with a mortar and pestle. Then add the grated carrot and daikon radish (the radish should be about 1/2 the volume of the carrot) and then add the soy sauces and spices, including a grating of nutmeg. Fry together until the carrot begins to soften. Then add the lentils and barley along with the stock / water and cook for a couple of minutes until about half the liquid evaporates. Turn off the heat and stir in the oats and allow to stand for a few minutes while the oats absorb the moisture from the vegetable mix. Grease an oven proof dish / pudding basin with butter and then spoon in the haggis mix and press it down. Spread any remaining butter over the top and cover with foil and cook for 30 mins. Then remove the foil and cook for another 30 mins. take it out of the oven and allow to stand for 5 mins the run a knife round the edge and turn it out onto a plate. Best served with ‘neepes and tatties’, mashed swede and mashed potatoes. I substituted mashed carrots and daikon radish for swede, which you can’t get in Thailand. And don’t forget to drink a dram or two of whisky too!