I’m not much in the habit of blogging about food (usually because I’m too busy stuffing it into my mouth to pause long enough to actually consider it) but I mentioned my husband’s plan to make haggis lasagne on Twitter over the weekend and… well, it seemed like it was a thing people liked the sound of. A lot.
So. I’m pleased to report that haggis lasagne, as a thing, works. It’s pretty easy to adapt a standard lasagne recipe to make it (there’s also a variation here, plus the Guardian’s article on ideas for leftover haggis) and we based ours roughly on my mother’s lasagne. I’ve probably left a dozen things out of the recipe, but you’ll get the idea…
– for the ragu –
1 stick celery
1 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
Handful cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Haggis (we used two MacSween 3-person haggises – haggii? – which came to about 1kg in total)
– for the béchamel sauce –
– to finish –
Grated parmesan (or similar)
Salt & pepper to taste
Make up the ragu as for a standard bolognese: finely chop the shallots, celery and peppers and cook gently in a small amount of olive oil. When softened, add the cherry tomatoes and cook briefly then add the tinned tomatoes, the puree and a good slosh (technical term) of red wine, along with oregano and salt & pepper. Stir well and simmer to reduce.
When the sauce has reduced, remove the haggis from its skin and chop into pieces. Add to the sauce and stir well to break up any large lumps. Leave to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. The haggis will absorb a lot of the liquid, so if it starts to look a little dry add some more wine (hurrah!). Add the parsley, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and adjust seasoning if required.
While it’s simmering, make up the béchamel by gently melting butter and adding as much flour as it will absorb to form a roux. Beat the hell out of it with a wooden spoon and gradually add enough milk to form a thick, smooth sauce, allowing it to cook. Add a good grating of fresh nutmeg and (if you like it) stir in a good handful of the parmesan as well as salt and pepper.
Build the lasagne in layers of ragu, pasta sheets and sauce. Finish with a layer of béchamel and sprinkle over a generous handful of parmesan.
Bake for about 35 – 40 minutes in a preheated oven (180C / GM4) until golden on top.
(As a point of interest, we found this served two-and-a-half of us with enough left over to be lunch the next day. If you want to make a smaller one, it might be worth using half as much haggis – in which case possibly use half as much tomato. Also, the taste of the haggis was definitely stronger when we reheated it!)
If you have your own lasagne recipe, you should be able to adapt it to suit – we left the mushrooms out of ours (and I can never be bothered mucking about with chicken livers or bacon in a ragu). I’m also not sure how this would work with vegetarian haggis, but hey: if that’s your thing, then give it a go!
One more thing. Don’t plan on doing an awful lot for a couple of hours after you eat. (At least, not if you’re as greedy as I am…)