Here we go! I cannot quite believe I am typing this, but after a 23 year absence from major tournament finals my home country of Scotland are back on the big stage, and not only that- they’ve only got a chance of qualifying for the knock-out rounds, something they have never ever done before!
Growing up my hero was Ally McCoist the Scotland and Rangers striker who made 61 appearances and scored 19 goals for his country.
Among those goals was a special effort at Euro 96- the last time we had a chance to qualify from the groups. With a single point to our name heading into the final fixture in the section, Scotland knew that they needed a victory and a big swing in the goal difference to progress ahead of the Netherlands.
‘Super’ Ally’s spectacular 36th-minute strike secured the win, and with the Auld Enemy, England leading 4-0 lead against the Dutch – it looked like we were going to do it. But, alas, being a Scotland fan goes hand-in-hand with heartbreak, and a late consolation scored by Patrick Kluivert saw the other match finish 4-1 and the Tartan Army head home to think again!
For my Scottish Euro 2020 dinner it could only be our national dish of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with a wee dram of Whisky Sauce.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
- 1 Haggis -go for a good quality one, size to suit the number of diners.
- 500g Neeps (Turnips)
- 500g Tatties (Potatoes)
- 50ml Milk and butter for mashing
- 50g Butter
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
For the whisky cream sauce (optional)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 150ml double cream
- 50ml whisky
- 15g butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the haggis as per the manufacturer’s guidelines- normally in the microwave or in a waterbath in the oven.
Neeps and Tatties-
- Peel the potatoes and turnips, cut into chunks, then boil in seprate pans of salted water for around 20-25 minutes until soft.
- Drain each pan separately and let them dry out a bit.
- For the potatoes- add half the butter and all of the milk, salt and pepper and mash well until creamy.
- For the turnips- add the other half of the butter, salt and pepper and mash, leaving a bit more texture than the potatoes.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
- Saute the chopped shallots until soft.
- Add the whisky and burn off the alcohol for a couple of minutes.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, then simmer for a couple of minutes- not too long, or the cream will split.
You can serve the haggis, neeps and tatties as three ‘dollops’ on the plate roughly equal size, or if you fancy making it a bit more presentable, you can use round moulds like I did. Serve with a good pour of the whisky sauce drizzled on the side.
C’mon Scotland, lets do it tonight!!!