As with many traditional Scottish dishes, vegetarian and vegan versions are becoming mainstream and readily available in supermarkets throughout Scotland. But we no longer live in Scotland, and haggis, though known of, isn’t often served here in New Zealand. Unable to buy my favourite vegan haggis (which was only a few pounds) I decided it was time to finalise my haggis recipe. This year on Burns night we will celebrate with vegan haggis bonbons with whisky cream sauce.
Encasing a many foods, including balls of vegan haggis in a crispy crumb coating makes them even more delicious, dipped in a whisky cream sauce and you have a vegan taste of Scotland. You might not know that Edinburgh – where we lived a few years ago, and Glasgow – where I was born rank as some of the most vegan friendly cities in the world.
Vegan Haggis Bonbons
- 1/2 cup steel cut or pinhead oats
- 1 cup black beans or kidney beans
- 1 cup red split lentils
- 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
- 1/2 cup finely diced swede
- 1 cup mushrooms finely diced
- 1/2 cup dried onion
- 1/4 cup pumkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- plant based pane/breading mix
Whisky Cream Sauce
- 1 tbsp plant-based butter
- 3 small shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp flour or cornflour
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Scotch whisky
- 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken style stock
- 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Soak black beans, dehydrated onions and oats in separate bowls overnight.
Cook black beans and red split lentils until tender, this can be done in the same pot.
Sauté in olive oil the diced carrot and swede, along with the chopped mushrooms and rehydrated onions until cooked and lightly browned. Use a savoury vegetable or chicken style stock for an oil free haggis.
IDrain the oats add to a large bowl with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Mix in the sautéed vegetables and the spices and the drained cooked black beans and red lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Take half the mixture and pulse in a food processor or mash and mix all the ingredients together. Roll into golf ball size bonbons or half the size for a canapé sized single bite and chill.
Crumb your vegan haggis bonbons with your choice of plant-based pane and put back in the fridge until needed. These can even be made ahead and frozen.
To make the whisky cream sauce, measure the soy milk and add the lemon juice and set aside to thicken.
Melt the plant-based butter in a small pan over a medium heat and sauté the shallot until soft but not golden.
Add the bay leaf and garlic and cook for another minute then stir in the flour before add 1/4 cup of whisky and stir until you have a thick paste.
Pour in the stock while stirring until the sauce thickens and reduces. Add the thicken soy milk and simmer for another 5 mins .
Season with salt and taste the sauce and add the remaining whisky if you want a stronger whisky taste. If reheating the sauce to serve later, save the last portion of whisky until ready to serve.
Haggis bonbons can be oven baked at 180°C for 20-25 minutes, a spray of oil will help make them crispy and golden.
For a really crusty crumb, deep fry until golden then finish heating in the oven.
Serve in small bowls or bamboo boats with a drizzle of sauce or for a canapé, sit a mini bonbon on some sauce on a Chinese spoon.
If you’d like to serve your bonbons as a complete meal, a portion of clapshot is the perfect side. Simply boil equal parts of potato and swede (rutabaga) and mash with plant-based butter or olive oil, then season to taste and you have a plant-based version this traditional Scottish dish. Pour over some whisky cream sauce and you have the perfect Scottish main for Burns night or Hogmanay .
When it comes to selecting the crumb, you need to pay close attention to the ingredients. Food allergens that need to be clearly identified on food packaging differ around the world. For instance, while oats may be considered gluten-free in many countries, Coeliac NZ has a different position regarding oats, in this case I’d suggest that buckwheat groats would be a great alternative if needed. This recipe is free from all animal products, sesame, tree nuts and peanut, until it comes to the step where you crumb the bonbons. Carefully consider the combination of ingredients at the crumb stage if you need to make an allergy friendly option.