Haggis with bashed neeps and rhubarb

Serves 4

I know Burns Night has just passed but there is nothing to stop you serving haggis any time of the year – and we often continue celebrating a bit before and after the birthday anyway.

At the restaurant, we buy our haggis from Weatherall Foods. It is made in Dumfries by Stuart Houston, and beats a lot of the haggis I've tried over the years.

A good-quality haggis weighing about 600-800g
700-800g swede, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g butter

For the sauce

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
2tsp flour
½tsp tomato purée
A good splash of whiskey
250ml beef stock
A couple of sticks of rhubarb, cut into rough 1cm chunks

Place the haggis in a pan of water and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. While the haggis is cooking, make the sauce: melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured.

Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well over a low heat for a minute. Gradually add the whiskey and stock, stirring to avoid lumps forming. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes, giving the occasional whisk, until the sauce has reduced by about two-thirds and thickened.

Add the rhubarb and simmer for another minute or so until the rhubarb is cooked but has a bit of bite to it.

Meanwhile, cook the swede in lightly salted water until tender, then drain and coarsely mash with butter and season to taste.

To serve, spoon the neeps on to warmed serving plates, cut the haggis open and scoop a good, large spoonful out on to the neeps; then spoon the sauce over and around.

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