Today is St Andrew’s Day, the celebration of Scotland’s patron saint.
It’s a bank holiday in Scotland (why don’t we get one for St George’s Day?) and the fact it falls on a Friday this year must be manna from heaven for our friends north of the border, not that they need an excuse for a ‘wee swally’!
It’s also a great time to celebrate everything that is great about Scottish food, and no we are not talking about a fried Mars bar!
On that subject, it’s funny because I worked in Scotland for a few years and frequented a fish and chip shop or ten, but not once have I ever seen fried Mars bar on a menu – probably because it originated as a novelty item in the 1990s and never became mainstream, thankfully.
A visit to a chip shop in Scotland is a bucket lister though. The chippies in England are very boring, with a cheese and onion patty often the only alternative to fish, sausage or a burger. Browse the menu in a Scottish chippie and it’s very different.
King rib (a sweetened patty of minced pork, white pudding (same as a black pudding but without the blood), macaroni pie (mac and cheese in a pie) and lasagne pie (work it out!), are just some of the delights if you don’t fancy a ‘fish supper’. Thank me later!
There is a lot more to Scottish cuisine than fast food though. The country has 9 Michelin starred restaurants and the consensus is there would be many more, but that Scottish folk are not prepared to pay £150 a head for dinner just to say they have eaten in one, and who can blame them.
Andrew Fairlie, Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart are just some of the amazing chefs plying their trade north of the border. It must be amazing working with all that amazing fresh produce they get right on their doorstep, whether its salmon, venison, fruit or vegetables.
See, we have got to the end of this blog without mention haggis once. Oh well, apart from the recipe:
St Haggis Scotch Egg with Red Onion Marmalade & Tattie Scone
Haggis Scotch Egg:
- 12 medium eggs
- 75g plain flour
- 1 good quality haggis
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Put a pan of water on to boil, once boiling put in 6 of your eggs and cook for 7 mins, then plunge straight into iced water to stop the cooking process.
- In a kitchen blender, or mechanical mixer chop up the haggis and mix with 1 egg to create a paste, then chill for 30mins.
- Once the boiled eggs are cool, peel and then wrap them in the haggis. Be sure to cover the egg completely.
- Once wrapped you can now bread crumb the eggs and haggis. In three separate bowls have plain flour, 5 whisked eggs and breadcrumbs. Dip the scotch eggs first in the flour to coat, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Chill for 30 mins.
Red Onion Marmalade:
- 3 red onions
- 100g brown sugar
- 100g red wine vinegar
- 2 star anise
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- Slice the red onions, put them in a pan with all the other ingredients and cook over a low/medium heat till a thick like ‘jammy’ consistency (roughly about 30 mins) making sure the onions are tender and not crunchy. Set aside and discard the star anise.
- 300g of ready-made mashed potato
- 75g butter melted
- 150g-200g plain flour (depending on the moisture in your mash)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of oil
- Combine in a kitchen mixer till a dough is formed.
- Roll out on a floured service and use a scone cutter around 65mm and cut out disks, then pan fry till golden brown. Set aside on kitchen roll.
To finish, deep fry the scotch eggs for about 2 mins till golden in around 180oC then bake in the oven for around 7-10 mins at 180oC /Gas 6. One minute before ready just reheat the tattie scones through the oven. Plate up by spooning some of the marmalade onto a white plate, using a sharp knife slice in half the scotch eggs and place on top, garnish with the tattie scone and crispy bacon. And brown sauce on the side.