Robert Burns Day Dinner – January 25(ish)

Deep Fryer

Robert Burns Day falls on January 25th – so a menu posted in July is a tad premature, but this menu involves a deep fryer. This upcoming Saturday is my friend Claire’s annual Poutine Party. Which uses the same fryer we borrow for Burns Day (those Scotch eggs won’t deep fry themselves, you know). Which gives me an excuse to post this menu mid-summer and include a bonus poutine party menu.

See also this note on recipes.


Walnut Oatcakes & Cheese

Smoked Salmon

Fried Pickles

Scotch Eggs

“Haggis” (turns out there are good crockpot versions if you lack internal organs of sheep to wrap it in, then simply recite Robert Burns’ Ode to a Haggis over the dish to anoint it)

Roasted Root Vegetables

Cabbage in Cider Sauce (*see recipe at end of post)

Shortbread (I recommend the recipe in the 250th Anniversary King Arthur Flour Cookbook)

Ice Cream & Apples with Scotch Hard Sauce


Poutine is the classic Canadian dish of fries, cheese curd, and gravy. It turns out that you can make many, many combinations of poutine. The annual Poutine Party has a buffet of different components to combine as you see fit:

Bottom Layer

  • Regular fries
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Oven baked home fries
  • Tater Tots
  • Blackened green beans (surprisingly, my favorite option – lightly toss green beans in olive oil and salt, spread them single layer on a cookie sheet, then bake the heck out of them at a high temperature until they are shriveled and blackened. . . but not yet charcoal)

Cheese Layer

  • Cheese curds
  • Smoked blue cheese
  • Raclette
  • Shredded orange cheese


  • Switchback (a local beer) gravy – vegetarian and chicken stock based
  • Mushroom gravy
  • Pork liver gravy
  • The thin gravy you get from a packet

Of course, all of these are open to reinterpretation and substitution.


Cabbage in Cider Sauce

1 lb small beets

1/4 cup apple cider

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

pinch black pepper

2 Tb butter

1 Tb honey

1 large red onion thinly sliced

3 cups red cabbage, chopped

2 – 4 oz blue cheese crumbled (depending on how strong it is / how much you like blue cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Scrub beets and place in roasting pan, roast until tender (about 30 minutes), cool slightly and slice thinly.

Combine cider, cider vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and set aside

Increase oven to 400 F

Melt butter in large cast iron frying pan. Saute onions until tender. Add cabbage and saute for 10 minutes until tender. Add cider mixture and beets to pan and bring to boil. Put in oven and bake until mixture is thick (start checking after 10 minutes). Stir in blue cheese and serve.

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