What springs to mind when you think of Scottish cuisine? Probably whisky, haggis, shortbread, oats, deliciously fresh fish, meat and game. Classic Scottish dishes reflect the country's cool climate – think hearty soups, warming drinks and robust breakfasts. This is perfect for chilly January, when our bodies most need a bolstering meal; by Burns Night (25th January) Christmas seems but a distant memory, and we're all about ready for another big feast.
With that in mind, we've rounded up our best Scottish-inspired dishes, from Irn-Bru pulled pork to a boozy cranachan with crunchy topping.
Here's how to create a Burns Night menu with a difference.
a whisky cocktail
smoked salmon blinis
A round of smoked salmon blinis is the perfect way to kick off most celebrations, and Burns Night in particular. Of course, one of the things Scotland is recognised for is its superb smoked salmon. Simply mix up some lemony cream cheese to spread onto the blinis before topping them with ribbons of salmon. Delicious.
Potato & smoked haddock soup
Similar to a chowder, Cullen Skink is basically a potato and smoked haddock soup (it is a speciality from Cullen, on Scotland's north-east coast). We think this creamy soup would be perfect served as a starter at any Scottish-inspired meal.
Mock-a-leekie pearl barley risotto
An oh-so-easy veggie risotto inspired by one of Scotland’s most famous soups, cock-a-leekie. We've used pearl barley in place of risotto rice to help create a hearty, Highland-inspired one-pot wonder that all the family will love tucking into on a cold winter's night.
Irn-Bru pulled pork with neeps & tatties coleslaw
The iconic Scottish fizzy soft drink adds a sweet and fruity flavour to this tasty dish. For extra crispy crackling on your pork, use a small, sharp knife to make shallow score marks in the rind before cooking. And don't forget our crunchy coleslaw neeps and tatties, which go so nicely with the fall-apart pork.
Tablet frozen yogurt
This frozen treat is flavoured with buttery Scottish tablet – similar to fudge but with a crumbly texture, for those who haven't tried it before. If you've got any tablet left over, make sure you store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, as it will keep for up to one month.
Cranachan for a crowd
You wouldn't be doing Burns Night right, if you didn't serve up a hearty serving of cranachan - the classic Highland dessert made with fresh raspberries, cream, heather honey and oatmeal. Our version uses is layered with shortbread crumbs for added crunch, and a good glug of whisky for added warmth.