Burn’s night seems to me to be a very masculine occasion with its strict etiquette, barrels of whisky and wailing pipe music. Add to that the robust, some might even say repellent main dish and you have a feast for the most testosterone charged evening. For surely only boys would want to let rip with a dagger at the nether parts of an old sheep, minced and stuffed into its own bladder.
I have to admit to not really loving Burn’s poetry either but a party is a party and it should never be said that I would pass up an opportunity for a bit of a shindig.
I have slightly modified the food here to make it not only more palatable to me but also a little more elegant. The true flavours of Scotland are there but perhaps with a little more subtlety and a few fewer drams.
Begin with these haggis canapés, I made them with haggis bought from my butcher but haggis are widely available at this time of year and are stocked by many supermarkets.
Wild mushroom soup follows, then a golden flaky topped venison pie and to end a variation on that sustaining drink created by the Duke of Athol that reportedly gave his soldiers a vital fillip and so made the difference between success on the battle field and ignominy. Here I have toasted the oatmeal and piled it, sundae like into tall glasses, interwoven with layers of rich whisky laced syllabub.
My recipes feed eight so invite a few friends and in the words of the poet
“See the smoking bowl before us
Mark our jovial ragged ring
Round and round take up the chorus
And in raptures let us sing”
Now there’s a drinking song if ever I heard one.