Recipe: Vegan Haggis for the Laddies and Lassies
Today marks the birthday of Scotland’s most beloved poet, Robert Burns, and on both sides of the border and around the world, people will be celebrating the occasion with a traditional Burns supper. But if you’re planning to address the haggis tonight, go for a vegan version of the Scottish staple – because the contents of traditional haggis are not only gross but also the product of horrific cruelty.
Burns himself had an ethos of respect and compassion towards animals. In his famous poem “To a Mouse“, Burns apologises to a mouse and “fellow-mortal” for accidentally overturning her nest with his plough. “I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion/Has broken Nature’s social union”, he writes. What’s more, he recognises that both mice and men have the capacity for suffering and can feel “grief an’ pain” – a realisation crucial to the philosophy of animal rights.
So, who knows? Had vegan haggis been readily available in the 18th century, it might have been Robbie’s dish of choice. Today, take a cup o’ kindness and honour the compassionate poet’s memory with this animal-free recipe – perfect with neeps and tatties (and even a wee dram!).
2 oz vegan margarine
4 oz oats
2 oz unsalted mixed nuts, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp Marmite or yeast extract
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
3 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 Tbsp whisky
- Melt half the vegan margarine in a saucepan. Add the oats and nuts and cook for 3 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the remaining margarine in the saucepan. Add the carrots, mushrooms, onions and kidney beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add the oat mixture and the remaining ingredients and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake in a medium-hot oven for 40 minutes.
Makes 4 servings