How to host a Burns Night supper
It's Burns Night on Tuesday and the perfect opportunity to cook some traditional Scottish recipes. The night is in honour of the poet Robert Burns and includes the reciting of Burns' poetry, with an ode to the offal-packed haggis: "Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!" Many Scots admit having to swot up on the running order before a Burns Night supper, however if you can't remember all the key verses of the night, there's now an iPhone app to recall Burns' poetry, launched last week.
Most people know that haggis is invariably on the menu for the event, served with 'neeps 'n' tatties' (mashed swede and potatoes) and (at least) a wee dram of whisky. You might wish to make your own haggis with this authentic recipe - but if you've been making it for years, tell us your family recipe. The Hairy Bikers like to serve haggis with clapshot ('neeps 'n' tatties') and a creamy whisky sauce. But if sheep’s liver, lungs and heart are not your thing - despite being such recession-proof ingredients - there are all kinds of vegetarian alternatives you can buy made with pulses and nuts; or you could make your own veggie haggis.
As for the rest of the menu, start with Scotch broth, potato soup or cock-a-leekie soup and then wash it all down with a whisky cocktail and a bowl of cranachan or a slice of shortbread. If you've got any haggis left the next day, you could try this haggis-in-the-hole recipe.
So tell us, do you celebrate Burns Night? If so, are you making your own haggis or buying it in? Does anyone have a good version of vegetarian haggis to share?
Ramona Andrews is the host of the BBC Food Q&A blog and messageboard.