Monday, January 31, 2011

An Ode to Offal - Burns Supper 2011

Sunday night was what we hope becomes an annual tradition, a Burns Supper at The Royal Mile Pub in Wheaton, MD. The last time there was a salute to Burns was in 2009, and it was fun to have a reprise.

True to form there was some good Scots' fare on the menu, from smoked salmon potato pancakes and cock and leekie soup for starters to haggis and lamb shank for entrees. Emboldened by the sample of haggis I tried at the last supper in 2009, I ordered ham and cheese scones to start and the haggis dinner.
The haggis had a good balance of the mineral flavor of organ meat, but was not too overwhelming. While the haggis was good since I am not a huge offal fan I think I will pass on it the next time we have a Burns night. My fellow diners ordered the salmon and the lamb shank. All entrees were accompanied with neeps and tatties, a tasty mashed mixture of turnips, potatoes, and leeks. The portions were generous and the lamb shank was so big it looked like it belonged at a Renaissance Fair. My sticky toffee dessert was the perfect way to top off the meal. To drink, I passed on the whisky, as I have never acquired a taste for it and nursed a Guiness all night. It was the perfect beer for a cold January night and a hearty meal that can be sipped slowly all night, a must for me because I am nursing and must limit the alcohol intake.

Of course, the best part of the night was the poetry, pageantry, and recognition of Burns in the company of friends.