“And Then, O What A Glorious Sight, Warm-Reekin, Rich!”…And Delicious?

Scots all over the world will be gathering on Monday (25 Jan) to celebrate the life and verse of Rabbie Burns, at the annual Burns night.  While this centuries-old tradition varies in content from place to place, from the very simple to the very elaborate, one thing remains constant  - the Haggis. 

Cooking and eating Haggis may be considered a daunting prospect by many, but sales of the traditional Scottish dish have been rising steeply over the years.  Perhaps one reason for this is that it is now easier than ever to cook – for the particularly time conscious, some Haggis are even suitable for cooking in the microwave!  And with an increasing variety of options to try, including vegetarian, extra spicy, venison, or the more traditional lamb - the likelihood is that consumers will find an option to suit their taste.

NFU Scotland spoke to renowned Scottish butcher Simon Howie, who owns two premises in Auchterarder and Perth, to get some advice on the best way to prepare the meal.  Simon has been selling his Haggis to major retailers for ten years now, and has been in the industry for 23 years:

“There are a number of different ways to cook Haggis, but I like it best when it’s wrapped in tinfoil, punctured and put into a tray of water.  It should then be put into the oven and cooked for about an hour and a half.  There are a number of ways to cook it, so just pick whichever is easiest for you.  When it’s ready, just cut the skin and help yourself – it’s fantastic.

“Many Scots eat Haggis all year round, I have it probably once a fortnight myself, but around Burns night sales go through the roof.  It is such a tasty dish, and we’re very proud of our unique recipe.”

When asked if he would suggest that we all try Haggis this Burn’s night, Simon quipped:

“I insist on it!”

With that in mind, NFU Scotland set about the task of cooking a Haggis, neeps and tatties dinner.  In doing so we hope to encourage those of you who have never tried to cook Haggis before to have a go to see how quick, simple and delicious it can be.   

Following the suggestion of Simon Howie our willing Haggis-cooking novices set to work and were delighted with the results:

“We had been a bit apprehensive about trying the recipe but were pleasantly surprised by the results.  We would definitely eat it again and would encourage anyone else who fancies trying it to go for it, it really wasn’t that difficult and the result was incredibly tasty.” 

Notes to Editors

  • For a photo of the resulting Haggis, neeps and tatties meal please contact Wendy Irwin on or 0131 472 4020. 
  • Recipe: - serves three-four people:

Cook Haggis as per packet recipe (varies slightly depending on the make of Haggis).  Peel and chop eight medium-sized tatties (more or less depending on the diners’ appetite!) and put into lightly salted water to boil until tender.  Chop up a small turnip and 3-4 carrots and add to water to boil under tender.  Drain potatoes and mash with butter and a little milk.  Remove turnip and carrot and drain.  Season and add butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste, plus one tsp. of ground nutmeg.  Mash by hand or blend in a food processor. Serve.

  • During the What’s on your plate? Christmas Campaign, NFU Scotland highlighted where to source turnips and potatoes locally.  If you would like a copy of those new releases please contact or 0131 472 4020.


Date Published:

News Article No.: 12/10

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