We did a small Burns Dinner just as a family. OK, really, it was just reading the Address to a Haggis to a vegetarian haggis that Yakum carried into the dining room while I bagpiped. We’ve done more elaborate in the past, but given jet lag and adjustments back to Liberia, this was all we could muster.
Benson was not terribly amused by the sweet strains of the ‘pipes:
In terms of the mock haggis, the most important element is the steel cut oats. It’s basically an oatmeal-based dressing that you could use to go with turkey or maybe duck. We like it, even when it isn’t Burns’ Night:
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup water or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons ground walnut
3 tablespoons finely chopped peanut (or peanut butter if you must)
1 cup steel cut oats
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Spices and seasonings: paprika, rosemary, salt, pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Saute onion in a medium pan until translucent, add carrot and a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook about five minutes on medium. Add lentils and water, simmer ten minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the eggs) and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, butter a loaf pan and heat the oven to 375.
Once the mixture has finished cooking, temper the eggs by spooning a little into the egg bowl to warm them, then stir the eggs into the pan with the oatmeal mixture. Once combined, scrape into the loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes.
Bagpipe music is the traditional accompaniment, but if you have to settle for concertina, that can work too.