Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy Birthday To Ye, Rabbie!

For those of us who are not culinarily challenged, a recipe.

And, bonus -- this recipe is from the late Jeff Smith -- the Frugal Gourmet himself!

Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, remains a highlight of such suppers. Though traditional recipes include a sheep's pluck (the heart, liver and "lights," or lungs), such ingredients aren't easily available. In fact, the FDA doesn't consider sheep lungs fit for human consumption, so even legally imported haggis doesn't contain it. There are, however, reports of traditional Scottish haggis being smuggled in.

Pluck not FDA approved? And Jeff did not have room in any of his cookbooks for the old-fashioned, traditional haggis, made with pluck. But it's amazing what you can find when you want to...

Actual Scottish Haggis - how to make it

A champion Haggis should be firm and slightly sticky, with no tendency to dry out or crumble too much. Most traditional Scottish butchers sell their own home made Haggis and guard the recipe fiercely. Ours is from the Glasgow Cookery Book from around 1926.

Be aware that this recipe includes lungs and windpipes and other things that don't tend to appear in cut out 'n' keep recipe cards. If you want to avoid these gruesome bits or aren't allowed to eat them (hello, America!), try the Haggis-lite recipe instead.

(Ignore people who tell you to put a rock in with your simmering Haggis then throw out the beast and eat the rock - they are Phillistines with no sense for the finer things in life.)


1 sheep’s pluck. i.e. the animals heart, liver, and lights (lungs).
Cold water.
1 sheep’s stomach (empty).
1lb lightly toasted pinhead oatmeal (medium or coarse oatmeal).
1-2 tablespoons salt.
1 level tablespoon freshly ground black pepper.
1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice.
1 level tablespoon of mixed herbs.
8oz finely chopped suet.
4 large onions, finely chopped.
(lemon juice (or a good vinegar) is sometimes added as well as other flavourings such as cayenne pepper)


Wash the stomach in cold water until it is thoroughly clean and then soak it in cold salted water for about 8-10 hours.

Place the pluck in a large pot and cover with cold water. The windpipe ought to be hung over the side of the pot with a container beneath it in order to collect any drips. Gently simmer the pluck for approximately 2 hours or until it is tender and then leave the pluck to cool.

Finely chop or mince the pluck meat and then mix it with the oatmeal. Add about half a pint of the liquor in which the pluck was cooked (or use a good stock). Add the seasonings, suet and onions, ensuring everything is well mixed.

Fill the stomach with the mixture, leaving enough room for the oatmeal to expand into. Press out the air and then sew up the haggis. Prick the haggis a few times with a fine needle. Place the haggis it in boiling water and simmer for approximately 3 hours.

This, and other traditional (and some modern ones, as well) recipes can be found here. I thought very seriously of trying to delete all reference to *vegan haggis (for Sweet Andrew's sake, what would be the point of vegan haggis?)* -- but I couldn't figure out how to get to the source code...


Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Haggis??????? Have you completely lost your mind?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 5:41:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Ooooh, kenna wha' ye're missin, noo... Wi' neeps an' achiltibuie skirlie, an' a wee dram o' Glenfiddich, och! makes a bonnie brekkie, it do

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:50:00 PM  

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