‘Sonsie’ can mean a lot of things: pleasing, cheerful, buxom – even. I think this vegan haggis has all those things going for it, and with no animal by products is suitable for vegans or people who would just rather not think about what goes into a traditional one!
A lot of manufactured vegan/veggie haggis has a smooth, pudding-y consistency which can be a bit stodgy. With its rich combination of lentils, nuts, oatmeal and tri colour quinoa this recipe has a more pleasing ‘rough’ texture and is very easy to make. The quantities below make enough haggis for 6 hungry people and – as (nearly) all the ingredients can be sourced from Aldi – the cost is super tiny! Under £2!!!!!
This vegan haggis isn’t only for Burns Night (or St Andrew’s day/night) – the basic recipe makes a super versatile meat substitute. You can make in bulk (it freezes well) and it can be fried up, baked up and served up in a number of different ways: cut and shape in place of sausage type meat or rough it up for vegan mince (great for stuffing veg). You can make it classy by serving it en croute (a la vegan sausage roll) or in a filo parcel. Cut into squares, it’s just great to snack on cold. It also fries up very nicely and it’s the perfect star turn in a naughty but nice vegan brunch or part of a healthy salad. It’s protein and fibre packed too – what’s not to like?
30g salted peanuts
80g medium oatmeal
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
600ml vegetable stock
55g tri colour quinoa
55g green lentils
55g red lentils
1 tablespoon cooking oil of choice (olive, groundnut, rapeseed etc.)
1 medium sized (100g) onion
1 medium sized (100g) carrot
130g red kidney beans
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
OK – let’s get to work!
1. Whizz the nuts up roughly.
2. Add the whizzed nuts to the oatmeal, mixed spice, herbs and nutritional yeast. Give it a good old stir.
3. Rinse the green lentils and the quinoa in a sieve. Add both to the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 mins. Rinse and cook the red lentils in a separate pan (red lentils cook much quicker – 5-10 mins – so it’s better to do it this way). DON’T let the lentils go mushy OR boil dry. A good tip is to put the lids on the pans and turn off the heat 5 mins before the end of the cooking time and let the steam finish the job.
4. While the lentils and quinoa are bubbling away, prepare the veg. Peel/clean the onion, carrot and mushrooms. Cut into large chunks and then whizz up to a finely chopped consistency. Saute in the cooking oil until starting to brown. Rinse and whizz up the kidney beans.
5. Ingredients assemble! We’re nearly there…
6. Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce and lemon juice. Check the seasoning and add salt & pepper and possibly more soy sauce if you think it needs it.
7. Pile your wonderful haggis mix into your favourite baking dish/tin. Bake in a moderate oven (180 deg C ) for approx 30 mins. You might need to cover the dish/tin with a lid or foil for the bulk of the cooking time and then remove 5-10 mins before the end.
8. Ready! Delish!
The above photo shows what a traditional haggis supper should look like. It’s always served with mashed swede and mashed potato (‘neeps and tatties’) and a glass of whisky (of course!). You can mash it up with different root veg mash-ups (celeriac, turnip, sweet potato, parsnip). Experiment! Go wild!
The baked finished product lends itself to being cut into squares or any other shape you fancy so you can go all food art and make neat little constructions with the veg layered on top. Personally, I like to go with the traditional look.
Talking of which – on the plate the haggis should have a rough and dark look (think of a pre-Bond Sean Connery… ) My top tip is to make and bake the haggis in advance and then scoop it out and rough it up in a frying pan, with a bit of oil, over a medium heat.
What’s not to like?
I’ve said it before – but I’ll say it again – this recipe is staggeringly cheap to make. I calculated around the £1.80 mark. Stick on another £1.50 for the root veg and you have a vegan Burns Night Supper for six folk for little over three quid!!! All the more money to spend on the whisky (which is also vegan)!
At the time of writing – and shopping at my local Aldi here in Edinburgh – I could get all the ingredients in one shop apart from the oatmeal and the green lentils (I got those in a nearby Home Bargains where they were super cheap but you won’t have to spend much, wherever you buy).
Alts & tweaks:
If you really, really want to spend more money and pimp the basic recipe – Beluga (black) or Puy (dark green) lentils work a treat. NOT from a can or pre-cooked in a packet though as mushy is no good! Also, many people think chestnut mushrooms are a bit more sonsie than their pale cousins but I don’t know if they bring that much extra to the party. If you can lay your hands on them at a good price (Aldi usually stock them) – go for it!
Cheers! Slainte! Enjoy!