Thursday, January 27, 2011

Robbie Burns day at the Haggis and the Herring

When I woke up Tuesday morning, my first task was to shovel the driveway do some cleaning. By eleven, I was in the car heading to Scarborough to the But 'n' Ben Scottish Butchers to pick up the haggis for dinner.

But 'n' Ben specializes in pies and puddings and it showed. Even in the middle of the day, there was a queue to order. There wasn't much haggis left, but I managed to get one just big enough for the two of us, along with a couple of Scoth meat pies.

Haggis and pie with brown sauce, along with
mushy peas, roasted potatoes and turnips.
Oh, and my single-malt, of course.

We've served But 'n' Ben before when I wrote about serving haggis and herring immediately before Jeremy was born.

It was on my way out that I noticed the chippy two doors down just opened for the day - St. Andrew's Fish and Chips. I was guessing that if it's that close to the butcher shop, it's likely good, and to my delight it is! St. Andrew's has a take-out window up front and a full-service restaurant just beyond. The menu is fairly extensive and includes a wide variety of fish, pies, puddings, and appropriate sides.

Salmon and Chips

Reading the menu, what caught my eye was the salmon and chips option. It was without a doubt the best we've ever had. Salmon and chips is a very special dish for Meredith and I. At our wedding, we asked the chef to serve battered salmon and sweet potato fries as the fish dish - as a nod to Meredith's Scottish, Welsh and English background. On our honeymoon in Seattle, we also dined on salmon and chips at Pike's Place Market.

The two of us with our honeymoon salmon and chips.

We'll definitely be returning to that corner of Scarborough for another trip to the butcher and to dine in at St. Andrew's to sample more goodies - including their mushy peas and haddock.

And back to Robbie Burns: we'll conclude with Address to a Haggis:

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm: 
Weel are ye wordy of a grace 
As lang's my arm. 

The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hudies like a distant hill, 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 
In time o' need, 
While thro' your pores the dews distil 
Like amber bead. 

His knife see rustic Labour dight, 
An' cut ye up wi' ready slight, 
Trenching your gushing entrails bright, 
Like onie ditch; 
And then, O what a glorious sight, 
Warm-reeking, rich! 

Then horn for horn, they stretch an' strive: 
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, 
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve 
Are bent like drums; 
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 
'Bethankit!' hums. 

Is there that owre his French ragout, 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 
Or fricassee wad mak her spew 
Wi perfect scunner, 
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view 
On sic a dinner? 

Poor devil! see him owre his trash, 
As fecl;ess as a wither'd rash, 
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash, 
His nieve a nit; 
Tho' bluidy flood or field to dash, 
O how unfit. 

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his tread, 
Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 
He'll make it whistle; 
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned 
Like taps o' thrissle. 

Ye pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware, 
That jaups in luggies; 
But if ye wish her gratfu' prayer, 
Gie her a Haggis!

Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen
Try other tasty recipes


  1. I would love a plate of that salmon and chips please, thank you!!

    P/S with regards to your comment about why not sell my cookbook, not all the recipes are 100% original so I felt it wasn't right to make money out of them, hehe. Besides all the recipes are available for free on my blog so the PDF / book version is just an easy way for me to get to my recipes quicker :)

  2. That all looks soooo goood! I need to find a gluten free recipe for that.

  3. Good luck with the pies - that'll be the difficult part.

    For the haggis, I'm pretty sure B'n'B uses steel cut oats (a coarse grain). Maybe you can use rice or buckwheat instead? I'm just not sure how you're planning on making haggis from scratch in general. I can't see you buying the sheep guts :-)

  4. Yum, I would love one of everything. Salmon and sweet potato chips? Aw yeah. I remember seeing an episode of a show whose name I can't place right now (sheesh, my brain) but they toured Scotland and sand teh song and ate the di dah. It was a good episode :)

  5. We lived in Edinburgh for a while. Miss everything Scottish you mention here and also the Aberdeen beef sausages, my favourite. O am getting nostalgic....


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