With the glum first three weeks of lockdown out of the way, it’s time to look towards more joyful events. What better cause for celebration than Burns Night, a time for honouring the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759- 1796).
Burns Night is always celebrated at the end of January, marking Robert Burns birthday on the 25th. He’s widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet and whenever the Scottish people are asked to vote on the ‘greatest Scot’, Burns nearly always comes out on top.
This lockdown, recreate some of that Scottish cheer in your own home by whipping up a special Burns supper. Here’s our top tips on how to do it:
Start things off with seafood
Scotland arguably has some of the finest seafood on the planet. Don’t believe us? Then check out this promo video by Seafood From Scotland. Whether it’s Loch Fyne oysters or Scottish Peat Smoked Salmon from the Hebrides, Burns Night is a chance to indulge in some of Scotland’s exquisite seafood. If you’re looking for a properly authentic Scottish recipe, try this haddock cullen skink soup recipe by The Spruce Eats.
Pro tip: The unfortunate impact of Brexit and lockdown has meant restaurant suppliers like Keltic Seafare could deliver incredible produce to your door.
Haggis is a must!
Don’t let the use of sheep offal in traditionally-made haggis put you off, after all the meat is no different than what you can find in a sausage. If you’ve never tried Haggis before, you’re in for a treat; the coarse oaty texture and it’s warm peppery flavour will soon win you over. Haggis is stocked in most UK supermarkets. Keep an eye out for popular brands such as McSween, who even make a good vegetarian haggis. If you’re looking for something a little more boutique, it’s worth checking in to your local butchers to see if they make their own.
Pro tip: Do Burns Night the proper way by reciting Burn’s Address to a Haggis before you cut up the haggis to serve.
Neeps and tatties
No Haggis is complete without the traditional accompaniment of neeps and tatties (swedes and potatoes). If you’re looking for simple recipes, why not try the recipes by Jamie Oliver and BBC Good Food.
A wee dram of whiskey
Burns Night is no time for cheap whiskey. If your taste-buds are strong enough to weather the overpowering flavours of Scotch (and you’re off the Dry January wagon – its about time anyway!), this is an opportunity to enjoy a more sophisticated single malt Scotch whiskey. It’s all a matter of taste, but some good options for Single Malt Scotch include Macallan, Glenmorangie, Laphroaig or Talisker.
Burns Night 2021 just won’t be the same without the company of friends and family. However we shouldn’t pass up on this opportunity to celebrate with all the wonderful food and drink from Scottish cuisine. Let’s not forget the cause of this Scottish celebration is all about a poet, so our last (but most important ) tip is to make sure that you enjoy some of Robert Burns poetry to help you get in the true spirit of Burns Night.