Haggis Meatballs with Sweet Potato
Ok, here’s a Burns Night recipe inspired by the ‘new-twist-on-an-old-classic’ I enjoyed at the EBBC in Edinburgh last year. Instead of going for the full Haggis works, I’ve used it to create meatballs; you get a slightly meatier flavour, and they cook a little faster too. This recipe is made for two, but just adjust the amounts of both the sweet potato and meatballs as you see fit.
Start by making your meatballs. Open 6 Beef Sausages (Beef seems to work a little better than pork, as well as feeling a little more Scottish) and put the meat in a bowl, along with half a Haggis (uncooked). Season with a little chopped Thyme, and a small onion, chopped finely. Mix well (with hands!) and then form meatballs. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper – tinfoil seems to stick too much to the balls. Leave to firm up in the fridge.
Heat your oven to 200c, and peel couple of large Sweet Potatoes and a couple of Carrots. Cube them and place into a baking dish. Drizzle with a little Olive Oil and some Salt, and then roast until soft – should be about 30 minutes. After 10 minutes, put in your meatballs. Oven-roasted, these should take about 20-25 minutes to cook.
When the veggies are soft and slightly caramelised, remove from the oven and mash. Keep warm, and make a hot/sweet sauce buy gently warming some Double Cream (about 100ml) with a knob of Butter, and stirring in a teaspoon of Mustard and a generous dollop of Honey. Sounds strange, but the smooth/sweet/spicy combination works really well with the sweet mash and peppery meat.
Arrange on a plate and enjoy – with a beer, of course. Dubbel, Stout or Porter would be good here; or even full-bodied Best Bitters or, of course, Scotch Ales. You don’t want anything too hoppy near this dish at all; just enough to lift the edges off the cream and cut through the sweetness. Siren Craft Brew’s Liquid Mistress (5.8% abv) was the beer I opted for; plenty of sweetness and red-fruit in the body, laid on top of plenty of biscuity malt. You’d expect it to be a hop-bomb but it really isn’t; this lady just purrs with enough freshness at the finish to cut through the sweetness of the food.
If you’re not familiar with Siren’s range, I’d rectify that immediately; especially if you can pick some up in London, where I’ve found the bottles particularly to be in good nick. Broken Dream (6%) is a self-styled Breakfast Stout which drinks very well indeed; plenty of juicy raisin and smooth chocolate in the body, married with a fresh, coffee-accented finish. Soundwave IPA (5.6%) does what it says on the tin; that now-standard boiled-sweet, full-flavored body with plenty of tropical fruit notes going on in the nose and in the long, pithy finish.