It was Burns Night yesterday. That probably doesn't mean anything much to anyone outside of Scotland, but I'm always fascinated by the many odd festivals and days here in the UK, and really, any reason to celebrate something is worth grabbing onto, what with all the January blues. I tried haggis when I first went to Glasgow, and the sound of it- a sausage/savoury pudding made of sheep's heart, liver and lungs, oatmeal, spices, wrapped in a sheep's stomach- may have put most people off, but I totally loved it. Haggis, neeps (mashed turNIPS, i.e. swede) and tatties (mashed poTAToes).The dish, and the name, and the way the scottish say it with their thick unfathomable accents.
This is a combination of that with another great English dish, the shepherd's pie, hence "Scottish shepherd's pie". I was thinking of calling it a poor shepherd's pie, offal being a lot cheaper than mince, but that didn't sound right.
Haggis Mushroom Pie with Swede Crust
part of a haggis, about 300g, removed from casing (a whole haggis is massive)
1 swede, about 500g, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
handful of mushrooms, chopped
2 generous tbsp grassfed butter
unrefined sea salt, black pepper (to taste, be generous)
1. For the crust, boil the chopped swede in salted water till tender, drain, and mash. Season generously with salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of butter.
I love that shocking orange-yellow colour that cooked swede turns
2. For the filling, saute onions in another tbsp of butter till softened and golden-translucent. Crumble in the haggis, cook for a while more, before adding in the mushrooms to sear and sweat.
3. Put filling into an oven-safe baking dish, or many mini ones, top with the mashed swede, and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes till the top is nicely golden.
Because haggis is made with the addition of oatmeal and lots of black pepper and spices like nutmeg and oatmeal, this pie filling definitely had some very more-ish intense flavours going on. The sweet swede was brilliant against its savouriness, the reason why I go mostly for the neeps over the tatties when I eat haggis, and the reason why I decided to ditch the usual mashed potato crust. Swedes are especially good this time of the year, so I would happily have them plainly mashed with lots of butter and sea salt.
But do it with potatoes if you will! Pies of any crust, filling, or nationality are great anyway. See Indian shepherd's pie, with a masala kheema filling, made about a year ago (:
I'm submitting this to Simple and in Season hosted by Ren of Fabulicious Food!
This recipe is also featured as part of the column for the London Farmers' Market in East End Life!