This year, we decided to celebrate Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve, with a traditional Scottish meal: Haggis with Neeps and Tatties along with steamed cabbage and wheat rolls. This could become a tradition.
Vegan Haggis is easy to make; you only need to substitute vegan beefy crumbles (I prefer Beyond Meat, myself.), lentils and your favorite beans for the animal parts usually featured in this dish (I won’t name them; because trust me, you really don’t want to know). It’s a savory dish with oatmeal that I dare you not to love once you’ve tried it. It’s full of wonderful spices and herbs and very filling, served hot from the oven to banish the winter chill – Delicious!
Neeps (“bashed” rutabagas or turnips, also sometimes called “Swedes”) and Tatties (mashed potatoes) are the usual side dishes for haggis. Seasoning is kept simple for both, with minimal herbs, butter and garlic.
While these two dishes seem very similar, the flavors are quite different and are a great complement to each other.
The other side dishes for this meal were whole wheat yeast rolls (from a veganized Julia Child bread recipe) and steamed cabbage.
Hogmanay, in case you didn’t know, is the Scottish celebration of the last day of the year. They’ve been doing it pretty much forever. Seriously, it has its roots in pagan tradition, Viking invasion and Britain’s protestant reformation. There are many possible derivations for the name “Hogmanay”, but I think the Gaelic term Oge Maidne, meaning “New Morning”, is the most credible. In a nutshell, the celebration is meant to usher out the old year while trying to get the new year off to its best possible start. It’s a huge party in Scotland, with food, music, dancing and, of course, shortbread and whiskey!