How to Serve Haggis
The most traditional way to serve your haggis is with mashed potatoes and mashed yellow turnips. Or as the Scots call it: "mashed tatties and bashed neeps."
Mashed potatoes are simple enough, right? You can even buy them premade in a microwavable dish at many grocery stores.
The turnips are a bit more of a challenge! What is a neep, also known as a swede or a yellow turnip? Here in America they sometimes go by an American Indian name: Rutabaga! You will find this not-very-attractive purplish root vegetable near the potatoes!
In Scotland this is called a neep or a swede. WHY? Because the King Gustav III of Sweden presented a gold snuff box of Swedish turnip seeds to Patrick Miller (a wealthy Scot from Dalswinton, director of the Bank of Scotland, who just happened to be a friend of Robert Burns). The box itself and accompanying letter is now in the British Museum in London. Robert Burns actually rented a farm from Patrick Miller, so Robert Burns may have been an early taster of bashed neeps! This hearty root vegetable grows well in damp Scottish soil.
To Prepare your Rutabaga: Cut off the thick waxy outer shell, cube it up and boil it just like a potato. When softened, pour off the water and whip the turnip with the addition of lots of butter and white pepper.
Haggis Meal and Presentation Ideas
So, a traditional plate of haggis is served with mashed potatoes and mashed yellow turnips. Some pour on a tot of whisky, or add a sauce (we have several choices: our Whisky Haggis Sauce and Whisky Steak Sauce. For those who like it spicy, add a few drops of Scotch Bonnet Sauce!
Want to take this haggis up to gourmet standards? Try our recipe for Balmoral Chicken for a beautiful plated meal:
Serve with a creamy onion sauce, with or without the addition of a little whisky, and your guests will praise your cooking talents!
Another fancy way to serve your haggis is stacked: use slices of fresh apple between a slice of already fried black pudding and haggis on the bottom. Again, a nice creamy sauce will make it very festive.
But, if you're really going for the most elegant presentation of all, consider these tiny potatoes (below), precooked, center scooped out, with haggis inside, and topped with a dollop of crème fraiche and a diagonally cut scallion.
Fun fact: This is the way haggis was served at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at a fundraising dinner for the University of St. Andrews. You may have heard about the dinner, as the guests of honor were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. And the haggis served was from Scottish Gourmet USA - the caterers did all the fancy preparation. Nice presentation!