Haggis is a traditional Scottish savory pudding that can be eaten all year round, though it is one of the most popular dishes to appear on the table on Burns Night. Spending hours cooking this unique dish the traditional way is one way to mark Wednesday, January 25 in honor of Robert Burns, though it can be done in much less time using an air fryer. If you’re short on time or hosting some last-minute celebrations, Chef Dennis Littley – also known as “Ask Chef Dennis”, exclusively shared his quick air-fried haggis recipe.
Burns Night marks the anniversary of the poet Robert Burns’ birth, one of the most famous and celebrated Scotsmen in history.
Haggis is traditionally served on occasion because of the poet’s own efforts in promoting the meaty delicacy, which would have been considered a nourishing and cheap meal for poorer families to prepare.
Dennis told Express.co.uk: “You can’t celebrate Burns Night without eating haggis, one of Scotland’s most famous delicacies.
“Making the perfect feast is easy to do with the help of an air fryer, which means you have more time to spend with your guests than spending hours in the kitchen.”
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Dennis noted that there is “absolutely no reason” not to cook this famous dish in such a modern appliance, adding that it can taste just as good as if it had been cooked traditionally.
The chef said: “It won’t alter the taste or texture of the dish and it is much more efficient than standard oven cooking. Your air fryer’s manual may have some suggestions on how to cook certain types of meat, but it’s rare that haggis will be included in that.”
Sharing his own unique method for cooking haggis in under 10 minutes, Dennis noted that you will need to use a prepackaged chunk, which can be purchased in Tesco for just £2.25.
Once you have sourced the meaty product, you will need to cut it up into “smaller” and more “manageable pieces” to ensure it cooks more evenly.
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Dennis noted that if you buy frozen haggis, you should soften it in the appliance before cooking it through to make it easier to cut.
Do this by placing it in the air fryer, whole, for six or seven minutes. When you’re able to slice it into even portions, you can move on to completing the dish.
The chef said: “Once you’ve placed the chunks of haggis in the air fryer, they only need around seven to 10 minutes to cook at 180C.
“Of course, the thicker the piece of meat is, the longer you’ll need to cook it just like a regular oven.”
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When it comes to serving your freshly cooked haggis, a traditional side of “Neeps and Tatties” is the best way to enjoy the dish.
Better known as turnips and potatoes in England, “Neeps” are easy to cook, as are “Tatties”, either in a pan of boiling water or in the oven.
However, if you’re short on time, Dennis noted that both side dishes can also be air fried for an even quicker Burns Night meal.
He said: “Cut these into chunks and serve with a little butter over the cooked vegetables. Serve with a rich creamy whiskey sauce or some simple gravy.”
If you want to try something different, the chef recommends a grilled haggis sandwich. To make this, you will need:
- Cooked haggis
- Red onions
- Two tablespoons of vinegar
- One teaspoon of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Graded cheese
- Eight slices of bread
- Dijon mustard
When the haggis is cooked, spoon it into a mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate dish, add the sliced red onion, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Scrunch together and leave for later.
Spread some dijon mustard onto your sliced bread and sprinkle some of the cheese onto the slices with mustard, then divide the haggis on top. Top with the remaining cheese and sandwich with the remaining slices of bread. Spread butter onto the outsides of the sandwiches.
Warm a frying pan over medium heat before adding the toasts. Fry for four to five minutes on either side, pressing down occasionally with a slice of fish until golden. Keep the cooked toasties warm in the bottom of the oven while you cook the remaining toasties. Slice the toasties in half and serve with the picked onions on the side.