Monday, 30 November 2009

Clapshot and Vegetarian Haggis

For St Andrew's Day.

Although I treated my nephew to a haggis samosa over the weekend, I wanted him to try the real thing, no not the meat version, but the vegetarian version which apparently is much better than the traditional haggis; so I have been told. My nephew snug his nose, but said 'i'll eat whatever you feed me'. I had to convince him it was not something I ate everyday, just now and again. In fact the last time I had a similar meal was for Burns Night Supper.

Here was my humble attempt at celebrating St Andrews day: home-made Clapshot and Macsween of Edinburgh's vegetarian haggis.

Neeps and tatties are the traditional accompaniment to haggis, but I decided to make clapshot for a change. So what is clapshot? Clapshot is a Scottish dish similar to Northern Ireland's champ and also to colcannon. Clapshot differs by having the potatoes and turnips - called swede in England and Wales, and for short, neeps in Scotland, instead of the chosen green, whether its cabbage, leeks or spring onion.
Some of you may have read early in the year, that the origins of haggis have recently been disputed. There are records of a similar 'sausage' in Greek writings, according to the famous Scottish cook, Clarissa Dickson Wright the origins are more likely to be Scandinavian - a legacy of the Viking raids. However shrouded in mystery the history of the haggis may be, there is no disputing the fact that Robert Burns brought it into the limelight through his poem 'To a Haggis'.
Our Scottish meal was warming and comforting, and I am pleased to report that my nephew enjoyed it, though he did sprinkle a lot of black pepper on his clapshot.

For sweets, I was going to make a cranachan, I like the pinhead oatmeal texture, but decided it was too cold too, maybe next time. Next year I intend to make my own vegetarian haggis too.

Happy St Andrew's Day for those of you celebrating it.

Serves 6
500g potatoes, peeled and chopped
500g turnip (swede) peeled and chopped
50g butter
Put vegetables in two separate pots of cold salted water, then cover and bring to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Return them to the pan, cover and shake the pan over a very low heat to dry them off completely. Then mash the vegetables together with the butter, season with salt and pepper.


  1. St Andrews day is all but over but I hope you enjoyed it! It sounds like you did sharing it with family.Our colcannon is made with cabbage and potatoes.Back in the 'Good old days' it was a way of using left overs from a previous days meal ie bacon cabbage and spuds.The left over spuds and cabbage were mashed together and then fried on a pan to accompany the next days meal.

  2. Oh, I've learned something new from you again! This is the first time I've heard about clapshot but it surely looks and sounds amazingly delicious, YUM!

  3. Thanks Peggy. I like colcannon.
    I have some clapshot and veggie haggis in the fridge left over from Monday, it may be a quick fried snack for later.

    Your welcome. I am always learning too. Clapshot is really comforting food. If you like mashed potatoes, you will like clapshot.

  4. Haha! How funny we are with language - Colcannon in Ireland is what we call Bubble & Squeak in England, and Clapshot is similar but substituting turnip for cabbage, although in England we call a Scottish turnip a swede,although a turnip in England is another vegetable and completely different to a swede!!!

    Oh, mashed potatoes, delicious and comforting with anything and particularly left-over and turned into Bubble...with some deep green cabbage. YUM!

  5. Your so right Scarlett.
    I have gotten in trouble a couple of times with some of my Scots colleagues for calling a neep aka turnip a swede. Language eh.

    I had a load of clapshot leftover and half a veggie haggis, guess what I made spiced Clapshot and haggis tikka (cakes, pieces). I will be showcasing them later in the week.


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