Thursday, 11 January 2018

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

Only three ingredients in this tasty treat which is perfect for Burns Night, St Andrew's Day or Hogmanay. Haggis and Cheese go burlin in Puff Pastry for an oh so moreish savoury Scottish snack which is so quick and easy to make.

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

So we all know that I'm savoury over sweet, cheese not choc, crisps not sweets. You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties, ideally positioned next to the Cheese Straws! They really are the perennial party food favourite but could they actually be improved upon? Over the years I've eaten and made them with various cheese, herbs, spices and even incorporated a slice of parma ham. However with January being the month of all things Burns, I got to thinking about Haggis. Cheese and Haggis are a match made in heaven (take my Auld Alliance ComtĂ© Cheese and Haggis Toastie as an example par excellence) so could I combine them in an epic Haggis Cheese Straw? Only one way to find out!

I shared the making of my Haggis, Cheese and Puff Pastry straws on Instagram stories and Twitter and was delighted to see that so many people were as excited by them as a work in progress as I was. I was kind of surprised quite how many straws the quantities I used actually made. Perhaps enough to feed the 5000 or go into competition with Greggs (I'm currently considering Quines as a brand name...) I did think that perhaps I should scale down the recipe before sharing here however I've left it as is as you really can't have too many of these tasty twists.

The name was another issue. I set out to create Haggis Cheese Straws however folks seemed to be referring to them as Haggis and Cheese Twists. But was there perhaps an even better name for them? Chaggis Straws was rejected but then bingo with a combination of effort on twitter from @KeepCalmAndFannyOn @MichJBarclay and myself we came up with Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls. 

birl (burl) Dialect, chiefly Scot. ~v. 1. to spin around, to revolve rapidly.
~adv. birlin’ (“Ah tell ye, efter a’ that dancin’ ma heid’s fair birlin’“).

Robert Burns - Wee,sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie (To A Mouse)

English - Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast.

Call them what you will - I'm calling them a huge success! Far too good to keep just for Burns night I suggest you birl them out for all occasions but they are clearly essential fodder for 25th Jan, 30th Nov and 31st Dec when we are all feeling at our most Scottish. I'll leave it up to you as to whether you accompany with Whisky or Irn Bru.

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

450g Haggis (traditional or vegetarian)
200g Scottish Cheddar Cheese, grated 
2 x 375g sheets of Ready Rolled Puff Pastry 

Preheat your oven to 200c
Remove the haggis from its skin and roughly chop into small pieces.
Unroll one sheet of the puff pastry, keeping it on its greaseproof backing for ease of handling
Sprinkle the chopped Haggis and grated Cheese over the top of the puff pastry sheet making sure you go right to the edges.
Unroll the second sheet of pastry and carefully place on top.
Push down on the layers gently with your hands before using a rolling pin to press all the layers together. 
Don't be too vigorous with the rolling pin, you can roll out to increase the size by 2-3 cm on each side but what you are really wanting to do it secure the layers.
Use a pizza wheel (or knife) to cut the Cheese/Haggis/Pastry in half horizontally and then cut vertical strips 2-3 cm wide.
Carefully remove each straw and give it a couple of twist before placing on a prepared baking tray. They will puff up a wee bit so give them room to do so.
Bake for approx 20 mins until golden brown and bubbling.
Ideally serve when they are still warm.

♥ Pin me for later... Only three ingredients in this tasty treat which is perfect for Burns Night, St Andrew's Day or Hogmanay. Haggis (traditional or vegetarian) and Cheese go burlin in Puff Pastry for an oh so moreish savoury Scottish snack.


  1. I absolutely love how have Scottishified (that's a word, right?) so many familiar dishes and this Scottish twist on the cheese straw is just genius! I bet they taste AMAZING!! I would definitely have mine with whisky (I love most Scottish things, but Irn Bru I just can't fathom - sorry!) Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare. Eb x

    1. I normally say that my niche is 'Scottish with a Twist' but I may have to change that to Scottishified Food!

    2. These really are "Scottish with a Twist"!!!

  2. I think these sound great and I have sent the link to my Scottish friend as a idea for her Scottish party in march. A very creative way of using haggis in something a bit different
    thank you for linking to #Bakeoftheweek x

    1. A Scottish party sounds like fun. Plenty more recipie ideas on my blog that she might like.

  3. I've still never tried Haggis (!) and i think this looks like a fun way of trying these flavours! Love a cheese straw.

  4. I only eat the veggie haggis but I can imagine how delicious they would be - like a super-savoury cheesy crispy mouthful of loveliness! It's DH's birthday party in a few weeks and I may well rustle up a batch of these to go with drinks. Yum.

  5. Cheese straws are such a delicious comfort (and party) food, and I love how you have changed them up by adding haggis.