The 25th of January marks one of the most important dates in the Scottish calendar, Burns Night. Following the example of his close friends way back in 1802 Scots around the world gather to celebrate the birthday of the nation’s favourite poet; Robert (or Rabbie) Burns. The mainstay of any Burns Night comes in the form of readings from some of the bard’s greatest works including the Selkirk Grace, the Address to a Haggis and, of course, Auld Lang Syne.
Aside from these readings, and the consumption of copious amounts of whisky, one thing that all Burns nights include is the traditional Scottish supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and also a Clootie Dumpling. So read on for some information on how you can make the perfect Burns dinner for your celebration!
A Brilliant Burns Night Starter
Last year we brought you a recipe for a traditional Clootie Dumpling and over St Andrews Day you may have noticed one for Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (amongst some other fantastic Scottish recipes), and so for this post we thought we would round off the meal and provide you with a dish that is guaranteed to get your celebrations off to the perfect start; a traditional Scotch Broth.
- 75 g of Pearl Barley
- 1.15 kg of lamb shoulder
- 2 litres of lamb stock/cold water
- 2 potatoes (cut in to 2.5cm cubes)
- 2 turnips (cut in to 2.5cm cubes)
- 2 carrots (cut in to 2.5cm cubes)
- 2 celery stalks (cut in to 2.5cm pieces)
- half a savoy cabbage trimmed and finely shredded
- 1 bay leaf
- bunch of thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- Cover the pearl barley with water and leave to soak.
- Whilst the barley is soaking put the lamb and the water/lamb stock in a saucepan, bring this to a gentle boil and remove any scum that forms on the top. Add in the onion, thyme and bay and leave it to simmer gently for 60 minutes, occasionally re-skimming the surface.
- After the hour has passed add the celery, turnips and carrots to the broth, season it with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for a further half hour.
- Rinse off the pearl barley with cold water and add, along with the potatoes, to the mixture, at this point you should also turn the lamb over. Leave uncovered to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Now add the cabbage to the soup and cook for a further 15 minutes (or slightly longer if the barley is yet to fully soften).
- Remove the lamb from the soup and either slice or tear it into chunks before adding back to the broth. Then season to taste and serve it up.
Now all that’s left to do is to raise your glass and have a ‘wee dram’ for Rabbie. Hopefully your Burns Night celebrations will help you to get in touch with your Scottish side. If so why not take it a step further and have a look at our holiday cottages north of the Border, or you could even check out our last minute breaks to see if you can celebrate the big night in a beautiful Scottish cottage!