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Celebrate with the Scots

PUBLISHED: 12:32 29 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:45 29 December 2015

David Gillingwater Suffolk Piper

David Gillingwater Suffolk Piper

David Gillingwater Suffolk Piper

Mark the life of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, with a traditional feast and of course haggis, neeps and tatties too

Burns Night celebrations at the White Lion Hotel in AldeburghBurns Night celebrations at the White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh

Those looking to celebrate this traditional event, can join the folks at The White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh on January 25. The evening will begin with a piper leading in the haggis and a Scottish toastmaster giving a dramatic rendition of Burns’ ‘Address to a Haggis’, followed by toasts involving generous amounts of whisky.

Head Chef, Ben Hegarty, and his team are busy putting together a delicious four-course meal for the evening.

Last year, the menu included a cock-a-leekie soup, a smoked haddock and potato soup, lemon and parsley with something similar expected for this year’s event.

The main course of haggis, neeps and tatties will of course be at the heart of this Scottish evening.

“Guests stand as a piper leads in the chef carrying the haggis and Burns’ famous poem ‘To A Haggis’, is recited with great enthusiasm by the toastmaster,” explained an organiser. “When the line “an cut you up wi’ ready slight” is reached, he plunges a sharp knife into the haggis and cuts it open” they added. “Everyone applauds and drinks a glass of whisky toasting the haggis.”

After the haggis, guests will be treated to a pudding with a strong Scottish theme which may inlcude tipsy laird trifle or perhaps Dundee cake with whisky sauce, plus coffee and whisky truffles will complete the meal.

Tables must be booked in advance, to reserve a place visit www.whitelion.co.uk.

The event starts at 7pm and costs £30 per person including the four-course meal and entertainment.

How to make haggis

by Ben Hegarty

Ingredients

1 sheep’s stomach or ox secum, cleaned and thoroughly, scalded, turned inside out and soaked overnight in cold salted water; heart and lungs of one lamb; 450g/1lb beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean; 2 onions, finely chopped; 225g/8oz oatmeal; 1 tbsp salt; 1 tsp ground black pepper; 1 tsp ground dried coriander; 1 tsp mace; 1 tsp nutmeg; water, enough to cook the haggis; stock from lungs and trimmings

Preparation method

1. Wash the lungs, heart and liver (if using). Place in large pan of cold water with the meat trimmings and bring to the boil. Cook for about 2 hours.

2. When cooked, strain off the stock and set the stock aside.

3. Mince the lungs, heart and trimmings.

4. Put the minced mixture in a bowl and add the finely chopped onions, oatmeal and seasoning. Mix well and add enough stock to moisten the mixture. It should have a soft crumbly consistency.

5. Spoon the mixture into the sheep’s stomach, so it’s just over half full. Sew up the stomach with strong thread and prick a couple of times so it doesn’t explode while cooking.

6. Put the haggis in a pan of boiling water (enough to cover it) and cook for 3 hours without a lid. Keep adding more water to keep it covered.

7. To serve, cut open the haggis and spoon out the filling. Serve with neeps (mashed swede or turnip) and tatties (mashed potatoes).

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