Sadly my Stargazy Pie didn’t win me any Amazon vouchers in last month’s Best of British challenge but unbowed in my quest for new cookbooks, I shall plough on ahead with my entry for July. After all I did win a princely £25 on the premium bonds this week so maybe my luck is changing
In case I caught you snoozing, I shall just give a quick recap on the whole Best of British challenge. Devised by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Fiona from The Face of New World Appliances, the Best of British is aimed at championing local produce and dishes from regional areas within the UK. This month’s guest host is Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and she is representing a mahoosive whopper of a region in the form of (the whole of) Scotland.
Despite there being exactly 5969 miles between Johannesburg and Scotland (or Glasgow to be precise – the things you can find out on the internet), I was quite excited by this month’s choice of region. For fortuitously my local butcher happens to be of Scottish heritage and stocks all manner of Scottish goodies in his shop, from black pudding to tattie scones. But my favourite of his products, and the one I shall be cooking with this month, is arguably one of Scotland’s most famous dishes – that’s right, the humble haggis.
I used to be a bit squeamish about eating haggis. That was until I braved it for The Fabulous Baker Brothers Scotch egg recipe and found that I actually rather enjoyed it. At the time, I also used some of the leftover haggis in some of Paul Hollywood’s pork pies and the heavily seasoned haggis proved the perfect foil for the blandness of the pork. So thinking again along the lines of haggis and pork, I decided that my entry for the Best of British challenge would be a pork and haggis meatloaf.
The inspiration for this dish comes from a recipe originally published in Food and Home Entertaining magazine for veal and pancetta meatloaf with maple roasted apple wedges. I know meatloaf isn’t the sexiest of dishes but I have made this meatloaf many times (sans veal) and this pancetta wrapped beauty is about as sophisticated as meatloaf gets. For my Scottish inspired version I decided to replace some of the pork and seasonings in the original dish with haggis. I then jettisoned the maple syrup in the apples for the decidedly more Scottish combination of honey, mustard and a tot of whisky.
I was really pleased with how this dish turned out. The haggis added a lovely subtle spiciness to the succulent meatloaf and the combination of honey, mustard, whisky and apples proved a definite hit. In fact, the rosy toned apples looked so pretty against the bright green beans that I will certainly be making this as a standalone side dish with all sorts of scrumptious pork recipes.
So there we go. My entry for this month’s Best of British challenge is the Scottish inspired:
Pork and haggis meatloaf with honey, mustard and whisky apples
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 apples, 1 cored and grated and 3 cored and cut into eighths
- 100g haggis
- 400g sausage meat or pork mince
- 60g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 10 slices pancetta
- 1 tbsp apple or redcurrant jelly, warmed slightly
- 25g butter
- 2 tbsp whisky
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- small handful of sage leaves
- 200g French beans or other green beans, trimmed and boiled for 5 minutes
- salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, cumin seeds and grated apple until the onion is soft and the liquid from the apple has evaporated. Set aside.
2. Crumble the haggis into the pork mince or sausage meat and combine with the breadcrumbs. Stir in the onion and apple mixture together with 1 tbsp of the mustard and the egg. Turn the mixture out on to a chopping board and shape in to a log about 6cm in diameter and about 25cm long.
3. Grease a large sheet of foil and lay the slices of pancetta out side by side so that they slightly overlap. Using the foil to help you, wrap the pancetta around the meatloaf log and then roll tightly in the foil. Place on a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes then remove the foil, brush with the jelly and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the pancetta is crispy.
4. Meanwhile, heat the butter over a medium heat until foaming. Add the sliced apples and fry on both sides until they begin to turn golden. Add the whisky (allowing the alcohol to bubble off), then add the remaining mustard, honey, sage leaves and some salt and pepper. Cook until the sage leaves are just wilted then add the beans to warm through. Serve with the sliced meatloaf.