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Haggis Lore and Recipes

Address To A Haggis - supplied by Jim Klein
Traditional Burns Supper Menu
Haggis Recipes
             The Dreaded Haggis - M. R. Archway
             Mock Haggis
             John Halbrooks' Veggie Haggis
             Mom's Haggis - Phyllis Otto
             A Favorite Haggis - Susan Wenger
             McKay's Nova Scotia Haggis
What Does Haggis Taste Like? - Harry Gordon
             Adam Quinan

Ode to a Haggis
Address To A Haggis - supplied by Jim Klein
Robert Burns | 1786 |

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis- fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
Like taps o' trissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Traditional Burns Supper Menu
From the Robert Burns Club of Milwaukee
Cheese, Fish (herring or chubs) and Oat Cakes (appetizer)
Cock-A-Leekie Soup
Bashed Neeps (mashed turnips)
Chappit Tatties (mashed potatoes)
Roast Beef and Vegetables (main course)
Our family also conducts a private Burns supper, following the traditional menu. We serve home-made oat cakes with Stilton, Nova salmon rosettes, and we substitute Clapshot (a dish from Orkney comprising turnips and potatoes mashed together) for the Neeps and Tatties. For dessert, we serve home-made Dundee Cake and shortbread.

Haggis Recipes
The Dreaded Haggis - M. R. Archway
What is a Haggis?
"Haggis, "The great Chieftain of the pudding' race", as Robert Burns, described it, is indeed a toothsome morsel and it is a great pity that many English people look upon it as more a Scottish joke than a good Scottish dish. However since Haggis is made from the stomach, lungs and other internals of a sheep it is a rather gruesome sight during certain stages of its cooking, as anyone who has witnessed the process will agree. The lung must be first be heating in a pan of hot water with the trachea hanging over the side to allow any blood and froth to escape and the stomach bag must be cleaned and scraped very thoroughly before it is used. I must say from experience that it takes needs a fairly robust stomach to first prepare and then eat it. If you can buy prepared haggis I do strongly recommend you to try it. All you need to do is slice it and fry it in a lightly greased frying pan. If you cannot buy ready-made haggis, then the following is tasty substitute.."

This recipe is from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. Delia is a Goddess in the UK, and this book is great. Hope you like it.

Yield: 1 haggis
1 Sheep stomach
1 Sheep heart
1 Sheep liver
1/2 pound Suet, fresh (kidney leaf fat is preferred)
3/4 cup Oatmeal
3 Onions finely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
3/4 cup Stock
Wash stomach well, rub with salt and rinse. Remove membranes and excess fat. Soak in cold salted water for several hours. Turn stomach inside out for stuffing.
Cover heart and liver with cold water, Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Chop heart and coarsely grate liver. Toast oatmeal in a skillet on top of the stove, stirring frequently, until golden. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Loosely pack mixture into stomach, about two-thirds full. Remember, oatmeal expands in cooking.
Press any air out of stomach and truss securely. Put into boiling water to cover. Simmer for 3 hours, uncovered, adding more water as needed to maintain water level. Prick stomach several times with a sharp needle when it begins to swell; this keeps the bag from bursting. Place on a hot platter, removing trussing strings. Serve with a spoon. Ceremoniously served with "neeps and nips"-- mashed turnips, nips of whiskey and mashed potatoes.

Mock Haggis
Of all things you wouldn't think had developed into a true "need" in our world, the need for a "Mock Haggis" is high on the list of unlikelihood. However, you would be wrong.
Haggis (Mock)
1/2 lb Liver (225 grams)
1/2 lb Beef, minced (225 grams)
2 medium Onions
6 oz Oatmeal, medium (175 grams)
6 oz Suet; shredded (175 grams)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 pinch Pepper
1 pinch Nutmeg, grated
1/3 cup Water (50 ml approx.) in which liver had been boiled
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
Boil the liver for five minutes. Drain and put aside to cool. Toast the oatmeal in a dry frying pan or in the oven until it begins to turn a pale brown. Peel and mince the onions and the liver. Mix all the ingredients with the seasoning and stir in some of the water in which the liver has been boiled. The mixture should be thoroughly moist but not wet. Have ready a greased basin large enough to give the mixture room to swell. Cover with greaseproof paper and a cloth and boil or steam for three hours. The traditional way to serve haggis is with mashed potatoes and turnips - "tatties and neeps", as they are called in Scotland - and to give the meal a truly Scottish flavour you should serve a glass of whiskey along with it.
I like to let the mock haggis go cold and then slice it and heat it through in a frying pan (without fat) until golden brown on both sides. This way it is very good with poached eggs and even with chips.
Note: if your mince looks to be on the fatty side, then cut down the quantity of suet to 4 oz (100grams).
SOURCE: Lillian Beckwith's Hebridean Cookbook by Lillian Beckwith, Lillian Beckwith an English writer, lived in the Hebrides as a crofter for 20 years.

John Halbrooks' Veggie Haggis
Cook your choice (or all) of the following with one loaf's worth of stale bread crumbs on high in microwave all until ingredients explode:
carrots, peas, spring potatoes, great northern beans, eggplant, tofu, peanut butter, and anything else at hand.
Remove mixture from microwave (this may take some time). Season well with whatever is at hand. Transfer mixture to a cloth bag and boil for 32 hours.
Transfer mixture to a rice paper bag and inflate the bag.
Puncture and serve.

Mom's Haggis - Phyllis Otto sure-fire recipe involves calling mom and requesting it. [But], I looked in my cookbooks and found one but that wasn't quite it. Then I tried google and did a search on the Internet and found a few but nothing that exactly matched mom's method. So working from memory, reinforced by the recipes I've seen, here 'tis (If you seriously want the actual recipe, let me know and I'll call mom or Aunt Deanie):
Dice a bunch of potatoes
Dice some celery
Combine the potatoes, celery, and fresh sausage [note here, most of the recipes I saw called for smoked sausage--it may be authentic but it ain't mom's], maybe add some salt and pepper
Clean pig stomach carefully
Stuff potato-sausage mix into pig stomach
Tie stomach closed, stab stomach a few times with knife, place in pan, add half an inch or so of water
Bake in moderate oven until potatoes are cooked (1 1/2 hours or more)
[As for it being haggis: we can say the potatoes are a substitute for oatmeal. But whether sausage is a substitute for sheep innards shall remain a question since I would no more enquire into the ingredients of a sausage than I would those of scrapple.

A Favorite Haggis - Susan Wenger
1 haggis, fresh or over-ripe 1 trashbag, preferably zip-lock
Insert the haggis into the trashbag. Dispose.

McKay's Nova Scotia Haggis
As a savoury pudding, traditionally served with mashed (yellow) turnip and potato, haggis was conventionally stuffed into the stomach or intestine of a sheep or cow for cooking. We find that a robust plastic pot is a more reliable receptacle and most of our haggis goes out in that form these days. For ceremonial purposes we can supply haggis in a synthetic skin. Haggis, whether in skin or pot, should be cooked in the manner of a Christmas pudding by simmering for at least one hour.

What Does Haggis Taste Like? - Harry Gordon
In Desolation Island when Jack is invited to dine in the wardroom of "the horrible old Leopard," he is served Haggis first, followed by Soused Hogs face. Is there someone here, perhaps a Scot, who can tell me what these two dishes *taste* like? I know what they're made of, and that Haggis is a Scottish National dish, but I'd really like to know how it tastes.

Adam Quinan
I have often eaten haggis, and enjoyed it despite being only part Scots.
What does it taste like? Well.......... The taste is a somewhat meaty flavour with a good dose of mild spices like other types of sausage. The stuffing is mostly oats with "the other things" mixed in so its texture is quite "bready" but greasy from the fat. It may not sound good but I like it.
I have never tasted scrapple but some people say that is a North American adaption using pig parts and cornmeal instead of sheep and oats.
I have only once taste "souse" in the home of some West Indian cousins of my wife. That was much less appetizing being bits of hog's face (and other parts of the head, I saw the ears) soaked in a vinegary watery liquid.

It's like sausage, but the pieces of stuff are bigger, if not identifiable. I'd think, that like meatloaf and sausage and "stuffing", it's a bit different each time you have it, depending upon the whim and whimsey of the cook. I had some haggis in Edinburgh, served with a kind of tart berry jelly, and it was delicious. If you like that sort of thing, and I do.