In celebration of Burns Night (January 25th) I decided to again try making homemade veggie haggis. My first attempt turned out pretty well, but was too moist. Second try resulted in a haggis a lot like a commercial vegetarian haggis, though a bit dry.
Third attempt, this past weekend… veggie haggis perfection!
Now again I hear you asking the question… why would a vegan seek to recreate a Scottish speciality traditionally made with sheep innards and oatmeal? And again I answer: because it tastes really good, and it’s a very thrifty dish.
Veggie haggis is made from oats, lentils, mushrooms, onion, tomato and seasonings. It’s steamed for three hours, then finished in the oven to give it a crispy top. (The last step being optional, but really good.)
In case you haven’t read my previous haggis posting, I will again share the source for the recipe I based my haggis on: the 1904 book Reform cookery book: Up-to-date health cookery for the twentieth century by Mrs. Jean Oliver Mill, which was brought to my attention by Nac Mac Vegan.
And for those of you who are wondering what Burns Night is all about, why it’s a celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. The very same one who wrote Auld lang syne. And Address to a haggis, of course.
- 3-1/2 Tablespoons (45g) red lentils
- 2/3 cup (70g) uncooked porridge oats
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup (50g) raw mushrooms
- 1/3 cup (40g) onion
- 1/3 cup (60g) fresh tomato
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Marmite
- 2 Tablespoons boiling water
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 oz vegetarian suet (42g)
Cook lentils in water in a small saucepan until tender and beginning to fall apart, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over low heat, dry toast the oats until lightly browned. Remove to a mixing bowl.
Heat margarine in same skillet and saute onion and mushrooms until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add tomato and continue to cook until tomato softens, another few minutes.
Add cooked vegetables and drained lentils to oatmeal and mix well. Dissolve Marmite in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and add to mixture, along with ketchup. Add additional tablespoon on water, and season with salt & pepper to taste. Thoroughly mix in vegetarian suet.
Spoon haggis into a ceramic bowl or dish, and cover with foil. Steam over simmering water for three hours.
Remove dish from steamer. Brush top of haggis with a bit of vegetable oil, then put in a hot oven to lightly brown the top.