I think it’s important to understand other people’s cultures, therefore I drink Guinness on St Patrick’s Day. Obviously it made complete sense that I celebrated Burns Night (albeit a couple of days early) this year with haggis. But this isn’t your usual haggis, neaps and tatties with whisky sauce, this is my English bastardisation.
Sausage, chips and beans is a classic; this is the mashed-up version of that with haggis, swede and potato chips and whisky baked beans (literally a can of beans with some whisky in them - classy). I served this with the most ridiculous Scottish beer I’ve ever had: BrewDog’s Storm, the 8% IPA aged to buggery in an Islay cask which will bring tears to your eyes as your choke it down. Not many like this beer; it’s earthy and peaty and it has sweet citrus pith flavour beneath a scissor-kick-you-in-the-head barrel intensity.
Haggis is disgusting. Everyone knows it but we eat it anyway. It’s not just because it’s made from sheep innards but it also tastes rank; peppery and mushy, stick-in-your-teeth thick, musty. Baked beans are wonderful; spiking them with whisky is stupid but I wanted something a little smoky to bridge the beer. It was perhaps the worst smelling plate of food I’ve ever eaten. The chips, obviously, were delicious, although there’s a reason the potato is commonly used over the swede... The beer ungracefully jumped over it all like a sumo-wrestler attempting ballet. But it all works perfectly because it’s Scottish.
This may be my Food and Beer Pairing of the Week! but it doesn’t mean it’s a delicious one: this combination is horrible. Don’t ever attempt this. Happy Burns Night!