For more than two hundred years, people have been getting together in January in memory of Robert Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire and Scotland’s favourite son.
These get-togethers are in the form of a dinner, or supper, around the time of Burn’s birthday on 25 January. I’m told they’re highly popular in South Island, New Zealand. This year I’m holding one
My Menu for Robert Burns Night Dinner
It will be too hot at the end of January to be hanging over my stove, I’ve gone for a simple menu
I have a recipe for a fake haggis but I haven’t tried to make it yet and, believe me, never serve up a recipe which you haven’t thoroughly tested before.
Just 3 simple dishes for my Robert Burns Supper. Cock-a-leekie, Smoked salmon vol au vents and Tipsy Laird
- 1.5 kilo Chicked
- 3 litres good chicken stock
- 1 large brown onion whole, unpeeled
- 600g leeks sliced
- 2 bay leaves fresh
- Put the chicken in a large pot, cover it with the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
- Take a slotted spoon and skim the froth from the top.Add the whole, unpeeled onion and the bay leaves. Season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lower the heat right down and simmer for one hour
- .Remove the chicken and set aside. Let it cool for a short time and then cut it up into large pieces. Carve off the legs, separating each of them into drumstick and thigh, and remove the breasts whole, carving them into two across the grain.
- Turn up the heat under the pot to medium and add the leeks to cook until tender, about 5 - 8 minutes
- Lower the heat right down again and return the chicken pieces to the pot to warm through for a few minutes.Discard the onion and bay leaves. Check seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Lift the chicken and leeks out into warmed soup bowls. Ladle the broth over.
Smoked Salmon Vol au vent
- 250g cream cheese softened
- 100g smoked salmon sliced into strips
- 2 packets mini vol au vents
- 2 Tblespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tblespoon fresh dill finely chopped
- Dill sprigs to serve
- Combine cream cheese, lemon juice and the chopped dill in a bowl. Season with pepper.
- Fill vol au vent cases with cream cheese mixture
- Top with salmon and garnish with dill sprigs.Serve.
- 1 sponge cake sliced
- 300g raspberry jam
- half glass Drambuie
- 500 ml custard
- 300g raspberries
- 250 ml double cream whipped
- Toasted almonds to garnish
- Place the sponge in the base of a large glass bowl and spread with the raspberry jam.
- Gently pour the Drambuie over the sponge
- Add the raspberries in a layer
- Pour the custard over, spreading evenly. Cover the custard with the whipped cream
- .Decorate with toasted almonds.
The Selkirk Grace
Before we start to eat, someone has to say the Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.
But where’s the Haggis?
Were you expecting haggis? Sorry to disappoint.
However, if you’re in my hometown, Melbourne, you can order yourself a genuine haggis from Robs British Butchery, in Dandenong. They deliver to your door too.
The Scottish Store in UK supplies the full range of every day haggis, ceremonial (chieftain) haggis, vegetarian, catering, gluten free and vegetarian haggis. Next day England and UK delivery available.
Scottish Gourmet USA supplies haggis and other delicacies
You can always ask Gordon Hamilton about haggis.