I’ve never had a traditional haggis. Call me crazy, but I just prefer sheep in their original packaging. So what’s a good Scottish girl to do when her favourite January reason for feastin’ rolls around? Veggie haggis, of course!
Burns Suppers are something we started doing with our kids back when we were home schooling. We would eat a delicious meal, talk about the food and history of Scotland, and of course, top it all off with a little poetry (and a dram of whiskey for the adults). It’s the perfect casual celebration for the long, dark days of late winter.
I’ve tried a few haggis recipes over the years, but this version takes the best parts from all of them, and streamlines it into a fairly quick and easy meal (minus the random sheep bits). The result is a delicious and comforting “meatloaf” packed with savoury flavours and a pleasing texture, thanks to the steel-cut oats. This is actually our favourite meatless loaf to make, and we’ve tried many over the years.
This recipe makes one large loaf (though I always double it, and put one in the freezer for later). You can also make this in muffin pans, for easy portioning, and that way everyone gets a piece with a nicely browned top.
We like to serve it with traditional Neeps & Tatties, Rumbledethumps (you can see why the kids loved this meal), and/or creamed kale, depending on what we have in the garden (though I usually just serve it with mashed potatoes and veg if it’s not Burns Night). A rich mushroom gravy is the perfect way to top it all off.
Sheep-Free Haggis (Vegan/Gluten-Free)
A delicious vegetarian meatless loaf for your Burns Supper, or any night of the week.
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (or oil)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 200 grams button mushrooms, roughly chopped (just less than 1/2 lb.)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1/3 cup red lentils
- 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
- 1/4 cup minced walnuts
- 1 tbsp Bragg's (or other soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/ 2 tsp ground sage
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- few gratings fresh nutmeg (1/4 tsp of pre-ground)
- pinch ground cloves scant 1/8th teaspoon
- pinch cayenne pepper scant 1/8th teaspoon
- 1/2 can kidney beans (roughly 3/4 of a cup)
- 1 1/3 cup steel cut oats (not rolled)
Saute onion and garlic in butter in a large pan or pot until very soft. Add mushrooms, and cook until they've softened and released some of their juice. Add carrot, lentils, walnuts, stock, and seasonings (everything but the beans and oatmeal). Simmer (covered) for 5 - 10 minutes. While that's cooking, roughly mash the kidney beans. Add the beans and the steel cut oats to the pan, stir well to combine, and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes (covered). Stir the mixture regularly, as it has a tendency to stick to the bottom. It will become very thick, but it is meant to become a stiff mixture, as the oats will soak up the moisture, bind everything together, and give the loaf its structure. When the 20 minutes is up, stir again, remove from the heat, let sit for 10 minutes (the oats may still be somewhat al dente).
Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan (a strip of parchment overhanging the sides will make for easy removal), and pack oat mixture into pan when ready, smoothing the top. Brush with more butter or oil, if desired.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.
You can also make this in muffin pans, for easy portioning (and everyone gets a piece with a nicely browned top).
I like to double the recipe, and freeze half for another time.
I hope you’ll give this a try on Thursday, and let me know what you think. Slainte!
“Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.” – Robert Burns
By the way, I recently noticed that the way I’ve been adding my featured images means they aren’t included in the post when viewed in an RSS reader or email. If that’s how you’ve been reading my posts, you might want to pop over to the blog to see what you’ve missed (I always save my best photos for the featured image!). Hoping I’ve got it figured out now!