Haggis is usually made from sheep guts, but of course ours is veggie, hence the recipe title. (However, some Scots love to tell gullible foreigners that ‘real’ haggis is actually a three-legged bird, with one leg longer than the others to help it get up and down the mountains and glens…)
On a less fanciful note, the rest of the preparation and cooking can be done while you are soaking the oats – otherwise soak them the night before and drain in the morning. Refrigerate the oats until needed.
Haggis is served traditionally with Neeps & Tatties (Swede and Potato Mash). Add lots of black pepper and a lump of vegan margarine to the mash. To confuse things even further, the Scots call swede 'turnip' - hence 'neeps'. Whatever, it's that root vegetable that is pale yellow when it is peeled, as opposed to the white flesh of English turnip.
75g/3oz fine or medium oatmeal (the pinhead variety works best - find it in health food shops)
1 and a quarter tins of drained rinsed whole lentils OR 110g/4oz uncooked whole lentils
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large carrots, finely grated
4 to 6 mushrooms, sliced
¼ tsp each of allspice, cumin, paprika and nutmeg
¼ tsp each of dried sage and thyme
1 tbsp soya sauce
400g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
60g/2oz mixed nuts, ground
3 tsp yeast extract, eg Marmite
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Knob of dairy-free margarine, eg Pure brand
1. Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 5.
2. Put the oatmeal in a bowl and cover with water. Let it stand for at least an hour. Drain thoroughly.
3. If cooking lentils from scratch, place them in a pan of water and boil rapidly for 20-30 minutes or until soft (the time will vary according to the type of lentils). When the lentils are ready, drain and rinse them in a sieve. Otherwise ignore this stage and go to no. 4.
4. Measure all the herbs and spices and place them in a small bowl.
5. Sauté the onion in the oil until it is soft. Add the carrots and mushrooms, and cook for a little longer. Then add the herbs and spices, soya sauce, cooked lentils, about a quarter of the kidney beans and the nuts. Mix in the yeast extract until it is well incorporated.
6. Using a blender or potato masher, mash the remainder of the beans to form a thick paste (add a little water if necessary to prevent it getting too stiff). Add this to the lentil and vegetable mixture.
7. Finally, add the drained oatmeal, salt and pepper, and the garlic. If the mixture looks too dry, add the margarine. Mix well. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
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