Celebrate our National Bard and impress

An amazing way to dish up a Scottish  favourite and impress on Burns Day
An amazing way to dish up a Scottish favourite and impress on Burns Day

Hotelier and chef Jason Henderson is delighted to join Angus County Press with his new food and recipe column.

Jason’s career boasts two decades of experience in 2 and 3 Rosette establishments and he has worked for prestigious hotel group Relais and Chateaux.

Jason is general manager and head chef of the luxury Perthshire retreat Knock Castle Hotel & Spa and specialises in top-end catering. Such is his culinary skill, he recently joined the F1 catering team in Abu Dhabi for the Grand Prix.

Haggis, neeps and tatties

Serves 4 (starter size)


800g (good quality haggis)

1 shot Drambuie


100g plain flour

800g turnip

800g potatoes (maris piper)

1/2 pint port

1 vanilla pod

1 shot brandy

table spoon green peppercorns

150ml beef stock

150ml double cream

3 eggs

250ml milk

50g chopped shallot

50g butter (unsalted)

salt and pepper


Take the haggis and break it down gently, bind with Drambuie and reform into approx 2 inch rounds and about 1.5cm deep (use a mould rind if required)

Then set up three bowls, one with breadcrumbs, one with the eggs and milk mixed and the final with the flour (seasoned with salt and pepper).

Place each haggis cake in the flour and lightly coat, ensuring you have a light covering all over, ensuring the egg and crumbs stick to them

Dust off excess flour and place in the egg wash (drip off excess again and place into crumbs ensuring you get an even coating all over). Repeat with remaining haggis cakes and place in fridge.

Peel the potatoes and cut to an equal size (approx) to ensure equal cooking, place in pan and run cold water until the water is clear (this washes the excess starch from the potatoes and stops them being gloopy).

Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 14 minutes until cooked. Once ready remove from water and drain water (tip for you here: buy a potato ricer or a mouli - these make wonderful mash pots).

Mash the potatoes with the butter and 100ml of the cream and season to taste.

The turnip is more simple - peel and cut to the approx same size and cover with water and season with salt; bring to boil and simmer for approx 9 minutes. Again, drain and then either just crush them or puree them in a blender and season to taste.


Using a thick-based frying pan, heat the pan and quickly throw in the shallots straight after the peppercorns for literally five seconds.

Stir then pour in brandy (now be careful as this will burn off immediately)

Once the brandy has nearly gone, add the beef stock and cream and reduce to a nice creamy consistency and season to taste.

Now you have everything ready, all you need to do is ensure it’s all hot and you are ready to cook the haggis cakes.

I would fry in a frying pan and finish in the oven, but feel free to use the deep fat fryer as long as you place on some kitchen roll to remove excess oil. When cooking, all you are looking for is a beautiful golden brown colour.


Now for this it is entirely up to yourself how you plate it. Personally I would suggest using a piping bag for the mash and a healthy spooning of the turnip with the golden haggis cake gently resting half on half off and then drizzling the creamy peppercorn sauce around.

What I have done in the picture is garnished the plate with a smear of carrot puree, rolled the mash into balls, done quenelles of turnip and cut the haggis on an angle just to lift it up a little and show you that lovely moistness inside and then drizzled with the peppercorn sauce.

I finished the plate with small Parma Ham crisps and smoked onion powder