If you had to choose one dish that embodies Hogmanay it would be black bun. Essentially a fruit cake garnished with a Scottish twist, black bun consists of raisins, currants, almonds, citrus peel, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. The icing on this beauty happens to come in the form of pastry, and lots of it. Back in the day, black bun was consumed on Twelfth Night and yet nowadays, devouring this scrumptious cake is ingrained into Hogmanay rituals, with many first-footers gifting it too, a symbolic gift brought to a loved one’s home by the first visitors or ‘first-footers’ on Hogmanay, bringing good luck for the New Year. Pair it with whisky and you’ll be dancing on the tables in no time.
The trusty go-to Scots staple and national dish, haggis is comprised of sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs), a mixture of oats, suet, and spices. Add a sprinkling of salt and mix it with stock to create a surprisingly delectable dish. Grossly underestimated and widely misconceived, haggis is a popular New Year’s Eve option and exudes a delightful nutty texture, which is complemented with a wholly savoury flavour. An adaptable dish, haggis is perfect for both informal and fancy gatherings.
The perfect accompaniment to haggis, neeps and tatties complete the traditional Hogmanay meal. Served mashed until they can be mashed no more, a generous amount of butter is typically added to the glorious concoction of potatoes and turnips, allowing it to have a dreamy, creamy consistency. Whether with haggis, alone or with a steak pie, this classic duo won’t be far from many a Hogmanay shindig.
An endorphin-inducing dose of liquid gold, cock-a-leekie soup is Scottish to the core. Adding a specific amount of rice adds to the wonderful slight thick texture of this hearty soup, which is also filled to the gunnels with leeks and peppered chicken stock. Traditionalists may add some prunes to the recipe. Although filling, cock-a-leekie soup is the ideal party starter for those embarking on an old-school Hogmanay event.
A farmer’s favourite and meat eater’s delight, steak pie seems to be a mandatory meal for many households across Scotland, especially on Hogmanay. Displayed in abundance at every local butcher, there is definitely a strong demand for this hearty delight during the holiday season. Once more, it’s the perfect option for feeding large quantities of folk eager to party the evening away. The better the butcher, the better the pie, with soft flaky pastry crusts and melt-in-the-mouth steak pieces.
Insanely buttery and sprinkled with a touch of sugar, shortbread adorns every Scottish kitchen, shop, restaurant and gut between Christmas and New Year. Once more, this buttery biscuit, displayed in a multitude of shapes, appears in abundance with the countless deals and offers in supermarkets. Popular for a post-meal nibble to join coffee or whisky, shortbread also happens to be a fail-safe first-foot item.
Tipsy laird is a trifle with a Scottish flair (the flair being impressive amounts of whisky or Drambuie)! A little softer than your average trifle, tipsy laird is bursting with booze, a delicious helping of custard, lots of fresh fruit and layers of fluffy whipped cream. Guaranteed to ignite a fire within, one bite of this decadent dessert results in never-ending fun.
Like all Scottish occasions or any average day for that matter, Hogmanay festivities are inundated with unfathomable amounts of whisky or uisge beatha ‘water of life’. Barrels of the stuff are consumed in abundance. After all, what’s a party without a wee dram? The perfect tipple to contemplate the past year and embrace the new, it is best appreciated with a mere droplet of water. No more, no less. Amidst those in a whisky-induced stupor are others reaping the benefits of other fine tipples like countless Scottish gins.
Simple yet smouldering, cranachan, a traditional Scottish dessert is a sweet-toothed foodie’s Achilles heel. This delight is formed through a perfect union of whipped cream, toasted oatmeal soaked overnight, honey, raspberries and of course, the mandatory dose of whisky! Although typically served in a tall dessert glass, those with an affinity for tradition will bring all the necessary paraphernalia for guests to assemble their own as they please.