Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Burns Supper

Yes, it's Burns supper time, and you're all invited :).

So what's on the menu?

To Start: Cock-a-leekie Soup (stop sniggering)

One whole chicken or several pieces of uncooked and boned chicken wings, legs or quarters
400g leeks
100g precooked prunes, stoned
25g rice
2 litres chicken stock stock
One teaspoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper, bay leaf, thyme
Parsley for garnish
Optional:3 rashers chopped streaky bacon

1. Place the chicken into a large pot, add the soup stock. Bring to the boil. As any fatty scum appears at the top of the pot, remove and discard.
2. Wash the leeks and roughly chop. When the chicken has been boiling for about an hour, add the chopped leeks and the herbs.
3. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for two hours.
4. Season to taste. If used the bacon should be thinly chopped and added.

For main course: Haggis and neeps and mashed potato.

(I think I'll leave that one to your imagination!)

And for pudding: Cranachan.

570ml/1 pint double cream
85g/3oz porridge oats
7 tbsp whisky
3 tbsp honey
450g/1lb raspberries
Fresh mint, to garnish

1.Toast the oats in a frying pan, with a little sugar to taste, being careful not to burn them.
2.Lightly whip the cream until it reaches the soft peak stage, then fold in the whisky, honey, oatmeal and raspberries.
3.Serve in dessert glasses garnished with a few raspberries and mint.

A fine French claret will be served with the meal, and afterwards the toasts (to the haggis, to the lads and to the lassies) will be in the malt whisky of your choice.

After which we'll have a ceilidh, with Scottish country dancing to traditional music, and be joined by today's guest of honour, Kimberly Killion!



  1. The St Andrew's Society in Japan hosts its own Burns Night, so my Scottish lodge celebrates with an informal dinner of haggis, tatties and neeps, a reading of his moving farewell poem (when he thought he was emigrating to Jamaica) and then a succession of toasts that get more and more original and off-topic as the harmony flows.

    For our formal annual installation banquets we also enjoy haggis etc., the big difference being that the chefs at the Kobe Club have learned how to make their own, while those at the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club haven't, so we ship over the frozen variety from Scotland. Two years ago one of our members ordered handmade haggis from his family butcher in Ayrshire (aha!). This year we had to make do with generic haggis picked up in an Edinburgh supermarket.

    I can remember only one banquet, many years ago, when we enjoyed cock-a-leekie soup. The dessert is utterly new to me.

    Thanks a million for the recipes. As I have to organise the Yokohama banquets, I'll try to persuade the local chef to experiment.

    By the way, is it normal to drown the haggis in whisky, or is that just an excuse made up by alcoholic Masons? :)

  2. I'ma wimp, Jud - I actually prefer vegetarian haggis :). Though we'll be having proper haggis from the local butcher for dinner tonight...

    Are you having your Burns Supper tonight, or saving it for the weekend?

    You're welcome for the recipes! I have a weakness for cranachan. Well, for most puddings really!

    Drowning the haggis in whisky is fairly common in restuarants, epecially up-market ones, probably to make the haggid a bit less basic :). But we never cooked it like that at home.


  3. Marie: Ditto on the vegetarian haggis. :)

    All three of our 'real' Scots brethren are out of the country, so I guess we'll hold our Burns Supper a little later in the year, though there's no guarantee they'll all return at the same time, if at all. Thanks to the economy, businessmen and diplomats posted overseas are being shuffled around or recalled to the UK.

    Glad to hear about the whisky. The first time I saw servings of haggis drowned in Laphroaig (which, to me, smells of creosote not peat), I was appalled. I was persuaded to try the same -- never, never again. :(

  4. Haggis and creosote, eh? It would be cheaper than Laphroaig :)


  5. I love haggis, especially MacSween's since I lived over the road from their old shop.

  6. That all looks really delicious.

    I have yet to try Haggis and I would really love to.

    in Germany

  7. I'm scared of haggis! I wanted to try it while we were stopped at a pub...could be the overindulgence of alcohol gave me courage. The owner actually told me that he would pay me to not try it. He didn't want me to get sick all over the floor.

  8. Mine too, Toni :)

    Hello again, Stevie! Oh yes, MacSween's are kings of haggis :). Especially their vegetarian one!

    Hi Valerie! I failed you last year :(. Next time!


  9. Cindy, that was some trip you took :)).

    We're ALL scared of haggis. I've just fed some to my kids but I think only one of them ate any :). It's best when you don;t think about it!


  10. Yeah, Marie,

    next time!!!!

    in Germany