Celebrate Burns Night with a Veggie Haggis
25 January 2022
By Hayley Carmichael
25th January is Burns Night, a big celebration in Scotland, and popular around the world.
What is Burns Night all about?
Every year on 25th January Scottish people the world over celebrate the poet Robbie Burns with a feast of haggis, neeps and tatties. It is known as Burns Night.
The night celebrates his birthday, but actually started back in 1801 as a remembrance of his death. His friends decided to maintain the tradition and celebrate his birth instead.
Robert or ‘Rabbie’ Burns is best known as the author of Auld Lang Syne, the song that everyone sings to bring in the New Year.
How do you celebrate?
Burns Night is most famous for including haggis on the menu. Traditionally the haggis is brought into the room accompanied by the sound of bagpipes, which is known as ‘piping in the haggis’.
The celebration is all about having a good feast with good friends, and sharing stories and poetry.
Haggis isn’t everyone’s cup of tea though. But fear not, you can still celebrate in traditional style with a delicious veggie haggis.
The beauty of a veggie haggis is that you get all the taste for a traditional celebration with a lower carbon footprint too – with red meat in particular creating a lot of carbon to produce it. So the less meat we eat the smaller our carbon footprint, helping to tackle the causes of climate change.
What goes into veggie haggis?
The secret of a good haggis is to have texture, keep it moist but full of flavour. This applies whether it is meat or veggie.
If you’d like to make a veggie haggis, you can mix and match ingredients to suit your taste, but it will need to include some oats. Things you might want to add in are nuts, mushrooms, onions, beans, carrots and lentils.
This BBC Good Food recipe is a good one to try.
We also like this one from the Great British Chefs website, which wraps a cabbage leaf around the haggis to hold it all together.
The Guardian offer their suggestion for the perfect veggie haggis too.
If cooking your own feels a bit too much like hard work, most supermarkets offer a good veggie option for haggis these days, so you can sit back and enjoy without the need to create it from scratch.
However you celebrate, have a very happy Burns Night!