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Haggis Lasagne

This week sees the first of the historic Scottish Quarter/Term Days as 2 February is Candlemas.  In the past it was common practice for gift to be made to schoolmasters on that day.  This gift was known as a Candlemas bleeze and in some parts of Scotland the boy who gave the highest money present to the schoolmaster was given the title Candlemas king.

Those with an eye to the weather surrounding Candlemas gave rise to the following weather lore:-

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o the Winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half o the Winter's gane at Yule.

Let us hope that the worst of the Winter for 2005 has passed at Christmas!

The term days were the only four days of the year on which certain payments eg rent or interest, became due.  Leases commenced and ended and contracts of employment, esp. on farms, began and ended.  The other quarter days are Whitsunday (15 May), Lammas (1 August) and Martinmas (11 November).

We are still in the midst of the Burns' season and this week's recipe gives a tasty twist to the normal Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, as it combines a flavour of Scotland and Italy!

Haggis Lasagne

Ingredients: 1 large (approx 900g) haggis; 250g lasagne sheets; 3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, sliced; 40g butter; 40g plain flour; 500ml milk; 3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese; olive oil

Method:  Cut open the haggis and crumble with your fingers.  Scatter some over the base of a buttered lasagne dish.  Place a third of the lasagne sheets on top and then another layer of haggis, followed by a third of the lasagne.  Top this with the tomatoes, season well, then add the remaining haggis and the last of the lasagne. 

For the sauce, melt the butter and then add the flour, stirring to form a roux.  Gradually add the milk, stirring or whisking to form a sauce.  Stir for four or five minutes, and then season to taste.  Pour this over the lasagne and top with the cheese and a drizzle of oil.  Bake, uncovered, at 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4 for 45 to 55 minutes.  Allow the lasagne to rest for ten minutes or so before cutting..

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