Tom Kitchin's Feast for Burns Night

By
Helen Barker-Benfield
Added
23 January, 2017

Celebrate the life and works of the Scottish poet in traditional style, with a twist, says Scotland’s finest chef



I’m a true Scot’s lad, born and raised, and I am almost fanatical about the very best Scottish ingredients and dishes. Burns night is a great opportunity to gather friends and family to celebrate the best Scotland has to offer – food, drink and of course, our national bard.  

Good Scottish haggis consists of beef suet, beef fat, pinhead oatmeal, onions, lamb pluck (hearts and liver), and the seasoning of allspice, black bepper, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. While it’s a dish that’s steeped in tradition, if you have quality ingredients it’s easy to be creative and add your own personal touches. I love adding my own modern take to classic dishes, having a bit of fun with them, without ruining the essence of their characteristic flavour. 

My classical French training has inspired me to add a French twist to some Scottish classics – including haggis, neeps and tatties. My own interpretation of the dish consists of haggis, puréed turnips (neeps) and potatoes. The neeps are lightly pickled, the potatoes are fine and crispy and the portions of haggis are fried in breadcrumbs and topped with a quail’s egg. 

So often on Burns night the focus is around the mighty haggis, but I also love our national drink, whisky. I enjoy pairing different whiskies with my food, cooking with it and bringing it into my dishes. I like to serve a rum baba with a difference. It’s a small, but mighty, cake, which is saturated in liquor – usually rum – but for my Scottish twist, I add a drop of whisky. The whisky becomes sweet and infuses the pudding with beautiful flavours, much in the same way as it would in a hot toddy. Whisky lovers will adore these puddings and I’d be amazed if the non-whisky drinkers weren’t converted too.

FORE MORE INSPIRATION, WHY NOT TRY ...

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