Ulster-Scots Pasties

Ulster-Scots Pasties


Hello Dear Reader,

I was contacted a little while ago by Sykes Cottages and invited to enter their inaugural Haggis Championship. They had been very sad to discover that almost two thirds of people would not order haggis if they saw it on a restaurant menu. So they devised their Haggis Championship as a challenge to come up with new dishes that would change people’s minds and get them eating haggis!

I knew immediately that I wanted to create a dish that merged together the home of my childhood (Ulster) with the home of my adulthood (Scotland).

Ulster is an ancient kingdom comprising the nine counties in the North of Ireland, three of which are now in the Republic of Ireland and six comprise the country of Northern Ireland. The North East of Ulster had many connections with Scotland, a mere 21 miles away, including a common language called Ulster-Scots. The area of Scotland closest to Ulster includes Robert Burn’s birthplace of Alloa and is now known as “Rabbie Burns country”. The Burns Supper of haggis, neeps and tatties – now famous throughout the world is celebrated on Rabbie Burn’s birthday.

In Ulster a pastie is a delicious patty of sausagemeat and mashed potato, dipped in batter and deep fried. If you have ever been in Northern Ireland, I hope you have sought out this local dish which can be found in every fish & chip shop!  I have made these at home a few times and wanted to try adapting the original Ulster recipe to incorporate haggis instead of sausage meat.  This is a great way to use up leftovers from a Burns Supper, just like my Burns Pie from last year.


Ulster-Scots Pasties – recipe

Deep-fried little gems of such absolute deliciousness that your dining companions will have no idea they are eating haggis!

Ingredients (makes 6 pasties)

Ulster-Scots Pasties

  • Leftovers from a Burn’s Supper = 250g cooked haggis + 100g cooked mashed neeps (turnip/suede) + 250g mashed tatties  (potatoes)
  • 150g flour
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 200ml ale/ beer
  • flour for coating pasties
  • oil for deep-frying


1) Mix together the haggis, neeps and tatties. Take 100g of the mix and form into a ball, pressing firmly. Flatten the ball into a round pattie about 7cm (3″) in diameter. Place on a baking sheet, form remaining patties and place in the fridge for about half an hour to firm.

Ulster-Scots Pasties

For the batter I wanted to choose a Scottish drink. Melissa Cole (beer expert extraordinaire) has previously mentioned that the traditional dram of whisky is too harsh in flavour for haggis. She recommends Fraoch heather ale by the Williams Bros brewing company as her drink of choice to serve with haggis. The William Bros brewery is only about 20 miles from me and I love to minimise my food miles whenever possible, so this is the perfect ale for my Ulster-Scots Pasties.

Ulster-Scots Pasties

2) Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or wok, to a depth of several inches. Make the batter while the oil is heating.
Measure out the 200ml of beer, measuring to the bottom of the head on the beer when freshly poured. Mix together the flour and baking powder, then whisk in the beer.

Ulster-Scots Pasties

3) When oil is at temperature (i.e. a cube of bread fries to golden brown in about a minute), prepare the pasties for cooking.
Place each pastie on a plate of flour, turn over to coat other side and then roll edges in the flour so the whole pastie is covered in flour. Dip into the batter, turning to coat completely. Lift out and allow excess batter to drip off.

Ulster-Scots Pasties

4) As soon as each pastie is coated in batter, gently drop into the hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. You may be able to cook 2-3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Continue until all are cooked.

Ulster-Scots Pasties


Ulster-Scots Pasties

Serve as they are, or with chips for a pastie supper, or in a soft bread roll for a pastie bap.

Ulster-Scots Pasties

The pasties can also be left to cool and then frozen. Cook from frozen by baking in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for about 20 minutes.

Sykes Cottages sent all the entrants a personalised apron. I am so excited by this apron as it is the very first personalised Vohn’s Vittles item I have ever had. I was grinning like a child when I opened it and will treasure it always!

Ulster-Scots Pasties

I do hope my recipe for Ulster-Scots Pasties might entice you to try haggis. It is not obvious there is haggis in it and it is truly delicious!


Legalese: I was invited by Sykes Cottages to enter their competition. I received my personalised apron and money for ingredients. It was my choice to enter the competition and this recipe and photographs are all my own work and property of Vohn’s Vittles.


P.S. I am entering my Ulster-Scot Pasties into a few blogger challenges…

Credit Crunch Munch run by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, but this month hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.  This challenge is about saving money, like my use of leftovers here, and they also encourage frugal food photos with no extra props!


No Waste Food run by Elizabeth over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and this month hosted by Laura at I’d Much Rather Bake Than.  This challenge, which was inspired by the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, is very dear to my heart as I find it shocking how much food is unnecessarily wasted in our country every day.


Shop Local run by the extremely talented Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.  I used lots of local ingredients in this recipe! Local haggis, local neeps, local taties and local beer!

Shop Local

Bloggers Around the World run by Chris from Germany. Chris’s blog Cooking Around the World is all about his love of world cuisine and his challenge this month is to cook something Scottish!

Bloggers Around the World Logo

Remember to share my Ulster-Scots Pasties to your favourite social media, so you can find them again…


  1. I love these.

    I regularly fill the freezer with discount haggis after Burn’s night, so booked marked for the next time I see some!

    Thanks for sending to Credit Crunch Munch.

    • Fab Helen! I love them too – we finished off the last of the frozen ones last week – must make some more! 😀

  2. thanks for joining Bloggers Around the World. To be honest, I have never tried haggis.

    • Oh you must Chris! Haggis is delicious! 🙂

  3. I’m an absolute FIEND for haggis. Always looking for new excuses to eat it, thanks for the inspiration!

    • Me too Rachel! We realised a few years ago that we always lamented, after our Burn’s supper, that it was too good to only eat once a year. Now it is a regular dinner in our house & a great way to entice my daughter home for the weekend!

  4. I love haggis and I love this idea! What a clever way to cook with it! Thanks for sharing with Shop Local, the No Waste Food Challenge and Credit Crunch Munch 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth – we had the last of them for dinner this week – baked straight from the freezer – literally 10 seconds prep time and dinner ready in 20 minutes! I must make some more soon – delicious, even if I do say so myself! 😉

  5. These look really good! I love haggis, my husband and I toured Scotland for our honeymoon many years ago and enjoyed authentic haggis a couple of times. I would love to try this recipe, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Kristin. What a fabulous honeymoon – you must come back to Scotland for a special anniversary. The food scene has really exploded here in recent years, with lots of fabulous new artisan producers popping up all over the country!

  6. I’ve never had haggis I don’t think but your patties look so delicious I really want to try some and make these:-) Thanks for entering #creditcrunchmunch

    • Go for it Camilla! Haggis is delicious and much more than the sum of its parts!

  7. Really clever recipe Vohn. I don’t know all that much about haggis but this seems like a really good way of seeing it, really yummy and comforting =)

    • Aw thanks Laura! I love it when someone thinks a recipe is clever! It makes the thought process and planning all the more worthwhile! 🙂

  8. Vohn I had lunch with some people from Visit Scotland today and we talked about how chefs and other people are trying to modernise haggis to make it more palatable! 🙂

    • What a co-incidence Lorraine! I love that you are talking haggis at the other side of the world! 😀

  9. Lovely recipe, I’d use Veggie Haggis but I’m sure it’d be great – smashing idea to the Heather Ale 😉

    • Thanks and yes, I am sure it would be great using leftover veggie haggis too. 🙂

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