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Haggis Neeps & Tatties Pasties For Burns Night

  

The classic Scottish combination of 'haggis, neeps & tatties' makes an excellent filling for a pasty. Antonia has included a recipe for a simple shortcrust pastry but, if you are short of time, shop-bought pastry works just as well!

For a vegetarian pasty, use vegetarian haggis (widely available) and and vegetable shortening in place of the lard.

This recipe makes four large pasties. Haggis can be bought in various sizes but you will probably find that this uses only half a small one – Antonia suggests doubling the recipe and freezing for another day.

How to cook pasties in an Aga range cooker

You may need...

Makes 4 large pasties

Ingredients:

For the pastry (or use a 500g block shortcrust pastry):

  • 400g plain flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 200g cold butter or 100g butter and 100g lard
  • 1 egg
  • cold water

For the filling:

  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 250g haggis
  • 100g swede
  • 100g potato
  • 30g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten (to glaze)

        Right, lets get cooking!

        1. To make the pastry:dice the butter (and lard, if using) and, in a large bowl rub into the flour and salt using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and gradually bring together using a blunt knife to mix. Add cold water, a teaspoon at a time, until you are able to bring the dough together into a ball with your hands. Do not add too much water – you need just enough to bring it together and no more! Shape into a fat disk, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

        2. Prepare the filling: heat a little oil in a small frying pan, chop the onion and sweat on the simmering plate or on the floor of the roasting oven until translucent and starting to soften (keep a close eye so that it doesn’t burn). Set aside to cool. Peel and dice the swede and potato into 1cm cubes. Cut open the haggis casing and crumble into a large bowl along with the swede, potato and cooled onion. Mix together. There is no need to season as the haggis is already heavily seasoned.

        3. Remove the pastry from the fridge 5-10 minutes before you want to start preparing the pasties – it will need to soften enough to roll out. I usually place mine near the Aga for a few minutes! Starting with half the pasty, roll out on a floured surface to the depth of a pound coin. Using a side plate as a template, cut circles out of the pastry. Repeat with the remaining pastry. Depending on the size of plate, you should get 4-5 circles in total.

        4. Place a 2-3 large spoonfuls of the filling into the centre of the circle and dot with a little butter. Brush a little water or beaten egg round the edge of one side and then carefully fold the pastry oven to make a semi-circle. Crimp the edges together to seal*. Place on a baking sheet, lined with a silicone baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

        5. Bake the pasties: cook the pasties initially by placing the baking sheet on the floor of the roasting oven for 20 minutes. If you have a3 or 4 oven Aga range cooker, you can then transfer them to the centre of the baking oven for a further 30 minutes. If you havea 2 oven Aga range cooker, move the baking sheet to the bottom runners and side the cold shelf onto the second set of runner – cook for a further 25-30 minutes.

        6. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating – they are best eaten warm rather than hot. Serve with green vegetables, gravy (if wished) and a tot of Scottish whisky of course! 

        Antonia's tips!

        I used the Blake and Bull heavy-duty baking tray for my pasties – it conducts the heat brilliantly and gives a really crisp pastry. If you preheat this tray, there is no need to use a silicone baking sheet.

        Baking the pasties initially on the floor of the roasting oven ensures that there will be no soggy bottoms!

        *There are plenty of videos online showing the best ‘crimping’ technique –this one, for example.

        A note on pastry: using lard in the pastry results in a crisp, flaky texture. Using all butter results in a less flaky pastry but does have the best flavour. Feel free to use a favourite shortcrust recipe or use shop-bought.

        You can use a food processor to rub the fat into the flour but I usually tip in into a bowl before adding the egg/liquid to avoid over mixing.

        This yummy recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds. 

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