Man about town: Get ready for Burns Night with haggis

I was given a lesson in the art of haggis-wrapping

Share

Haggis is a dish that if you are at all uncertain about, you shouldn’t watch being made.

If the extensive list of organs and innards don’t get you, the floppy, furry stomach that’s used to wrap it up, will. Resting on a kitchen sideboard, it gives the uncooked dish the unhappy look of a giant’s scrotum.

I was given a lesson in the art of haggis-wrapping by Andy Rose, executive head chef at Boisedale’s. You can watch a film I made of the process. He’s a man who should know all about the delicacy, as the mini chain of Scottish restaurants (there are three in the capital) sell a belly-expanding four-and-a-half tonnes of the stuff every year.

And while I believe that the ball bag look is a universal one, the particular example I was shown was slightly different. In this, the year where the future of Scotland will be decided by referendum, Boisdale’s have created the “Union Haggis” – where the liver, lungs, heart, stomach and lamb meat all came from the various corners of the country. It’s a visceral display of just how firmly they want United Kingdom to remain as a whole. And while it might not be enough to convince those North of the border that together really is better, it might remind locals down south that there are Scots who want us all to remain as a unit.

The night I was there was a dress (and drinking) rehearsal for next week’s Burns Night. The haggis was piped in (by the energetic piper Willie Cochrane) and then some Burns verse recited over it. I am no Burns expert, but I know that with the music and poetry, the food was treated better than most Scotsmen I know treat their dates.

In fact: most men. And this was just the second course. It was followed with wine, whisky, Aberdeen Angus beef, cheese and a tipsy tart (a dish, not a fellow reveller).

I’ll leave the political, historical and economic debates to those who know more. But as far this column concerned, without Burns Night as part of our annual list of excuses to go out and indulge, the UK would a poorer place.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Andy Coulson  

Andy Coulson: With former News of the World editor cleared of perjury charges, what will he do next?

James Cusick James Cusick
Jack Warner  

Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Tom Peck
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?