Half of you just said "Vegetarian WHAT???"
The other half of you just said "Wait, WHAT kind of Haggis???"
This is a dish that never fails to get an amusing reaction from first-timers when they hear about it. Two of my favorites have been:
"Wouldn't that just be oatmeal?"
"I would be honored to eat such an oxymoronic dish!"
Silly reactions aside, this is an original Iain recipe that I first developed a couple years ago, and since has become an all-time favorite. When I studied for a semester at the University of Edinburgh, the President of the University gave us a greeting speech, in which he gave us a list of imperatives for our time in Edinburgh. Among the more traditional ones such as "study hard" were "go to a ceilidh," "climb Arthur's Seat," and "eat haggis - even the vegetarian varieties have become very good indeed as well, so no excuses!" I took all three bits of advice to heart and fell in love with the dish, so that when I came back home to the States, I was forlorn at the thought of not being able to enjoy it again until my return to Scotland! So I did some research and developed my own recipe to emulate the best Veggie Haggises as I remembered them looking, feeling and tasting. Many were skeptical (including Emily, who didn't really believe such a dish could be truly vegetarianized) and all were made believers, and since St. Andrew's Day was on Monday, I am pleased to bring this recipe to you!
I might also mention, the word "haggis" sounds hilarious with a Minnesota accent. "Hay-gis." Teeheeheehee :)
Let the Haggissing commence!
Dove Vegetarian Haggis (With Neeps 'n' Tatties!)
1 large white onion (diced)
1 large grated carrot
1 cup of minced mushrooms
2 cups dry green lentils
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can of kidney beans (rinsed, chopped)
1 cup of crushed/chopped nuts (walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts are all good)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs + thyme
2 tsp + rosemary
1 whallop cayenne powder (or half a seeded thai chili)
generous salt & pepper
1 cup steel cut oats
1 generous slug of Whisky
The heart, lungs and liver of a sheep (kidding! kidding!)
2 medium-large turnips
4 medium potatoes
Cutting boards and Knives
At least 1 large and 1 medium pot
9x13 baking pan
Music Listened To:
The Thistle and Shamrock Celtic Christmas Ceilidh
1. Prep. Prepare all ingredients as listed. Generally the smaller you can cut things up the better. For the nuts, you may want to try putting them in a bag and bashing them with a rolling pin until they are in small, coarse bits. I recommend making your own veggie broth - I used leek greens and scallions seasoned with garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, although this takes a good couple hours.
2. Heat some butter or oil in a large pot and saute the onions for about five minutes.
3. Add the carrot, beans, nuts and mushrooms and continue sauteing for another five minutes. Add butter or oil as necessary.
4. Add the lentils and the broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Add the seasonings once simmering (do NOT go easy on the seasonings, and do NOT stick your finger in your nose after chopping hot peppers FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!)
5. Add the oatmeal and the whisky. Simmer another 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. This is a good time to prepare the neeps and tatties! Peel and cube the turnips and potatoes and bring 2 pots of water to a boil. Boil the neeps for 15 minutes, the tatties for about 10. Drain and mash both, add butter salt and milk to the tatties to your preference.
7. Pipe in and serve! I personally use a ladle for the the haggis and an ice cream scoop on the neeps and tatties to get that nice rounded look.
I very much hope you enjoy this recipe (Burns night comes on January 25th!). Do note that this recipe yeilds a LOT of food, and it is quite filling, so, if ye're a wee weak Sassainach, feel free to half it. I personally will be enjoying it for lunch for probably almost a week! This last time I made it, it turned out the best it ever has - definitely don't take it easy on the seasonings, since they all bolster each other, producing that unique haggis taste.