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Old 01-10-2005, 10:16 PM   #1
 
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Haggis Recipe

Will go with this venue for this recipe variant, as its mainly meat...

To make a "bath" of 12 lbs of Haggis, start with a beef heart, 3-4 lbs liver, and suet, to round this up to about 7 lbs...

A 3lb bag of groats (we use Robin Hood/Intl Multifoods product, buy it there, too)

2 lbs yellow onions
7 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne

Grind the meat and groats together until you have formed a mass resembling "raw hamburger"...carefully mix seasoning and minced oniion through the mass, until thoroughly mixed...

Pack the mix into plastic "turkey cooking bags" (ie oven safe, food grade plastic) (I know, I know, its supposed to be sheep's stomochs, but this smells to high heaven as it cooks!)

Place a rack on the bottom of a roasting pan (so the bags don't touch the bottom), place the bags and fill with water, and insert in oven on low, slow, heat...

Cook about 7 hours, periodically checking water level, and replentishing as necessary...(about 2-3 times)...

Then open bags, add 1-2 cups of milk (this reduces the "dark meat" appearance) and simmer for a couple more hours.

You'll note that this recipe is based on using beef, as opposed lamb, or mutton, which is simply to cater more to the "taste" of North Americans, who are less used to those woolly critters...(although I personally have a taste for lamb's liver!)

I would be very interested to hear any other variations that might be known to List Members, hopefully in time for the annual "Burns Night" dinners!

Lifter

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Old 01-10-2005, 10:19 PM   #2
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What are groats? :?
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:26 PM   #3
 
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Pin head oats, rolled flat, in this case
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:29 PM   #4
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Thanks! I have never had Haggis or even seen a recipe for it but it looks interesting & I'd be willing to try it sometime.
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Old 01-11-2005, 03:52 AM   #5
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Here's a traditional Scottish-based recipe for haggis. Personally, I buy mine from my local butcher - but MacSween's of Edinburgh make the best commercially produced and widely available haggis (they even make vegetarian versions - the mind boggles!)

BTW - a 'beef bung' is beef intestines - now more commonly used than the sheep's stomach of former years

I love haggis - we probably eat it about once a fortnight during the cold, wet winter months... but never in the summer - just too 'filling' for warmer climes.

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This from www.rampantscotland.com

Ingredients:
Set of sheep's heart, lungs and liver (cleaned by a butcher)
One beef bung
3 cups finely chopped suet
One cup medium ground oatmeal
Two medium onions, finely chopped
One cup beef stock
One teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
One teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon mace
Method:
Trim off any excess fat and sinew from the sheep's intestine and, if present, discard the windpipe. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or possibly longer to ensure that they are all tender. Drain and cool.

Some chefs toast the oatmeal in an oven until it is thoroughly dried out (but not browned or burnt!)

Finely chop the meat and combine in a large bowl with the suet, oatmeal, finely chopped onions, beef stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mace. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Stuff the meat and spices mixture into the beef bung which should be over half full. Then press out the air and tie the open ends tightly with string. Make sure that you leave room for the mixture to expand or else it may burst while cooking. If it looks as though it may do that, prick with a sharp needle to reduce the pressure.

Place in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for three hours. Avoid boiling vigorously to avoid bursting the skin.

Serve hot with "champit tatties and bashit neeps" (mashed/creamed potato and turnip/swede). For added flavour, you can add some nutmeg to the potatoes and allspice to the turnip/swede. Some people like to pour a little whisky over their haggis - Drambuie is even better! Don't go overboard on this or you'll make the hggis cold. At Burns Suppers, the haggis is traditionally piped in and Burns' "Address to the Haggis" recited over it.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:00 AM   #6
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Ishbel, you sure have different variety of meats to choose from. You do eat sheep? That is one thing I don't think I can ever find. What does it taste like? Have tasted lamb but not sheep. Only thing they offer here is chicken, beef and pork. This is really limited. I have eaten goat before but my uncle from Russia fixed it. That was really unusual. Did you ever eat goat? Sorry, if I sound ignorant just interests me.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:15 AM   #7
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Lamb is young sheep! Mutton (older sheep) is a much fattier meat, and is less available nowadays as it could be tough to eat and often needed long, slow cooking to make it tender.

I eat a lot of lamb. After all, the Highland Clearances took place in order to allow the Clan Chiefs to use the land more profitably - ie get rid of the people to run sheep on the same area... Hence the huge influx of Scots to Canada (Nova Scotia etc) and a smaller number to the USA!

I have eaten goat - curried and roasted - but I'm not too keen, although I like goat's cheeses.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:55 AM   #8
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I love lamb that is why I was curious about sheep. You had recipe for sheep's heart and that is what caught my attention. You really are giving me education. Have you ever lived USA? You seem to have been every place else. Your father had to travel a lot. Is Ishbel your given name? Hope you don't think of me as personal. Just interesting. Thanks
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:20 PM   #9
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No I don't mind the questions! And no, I've never lived in the US, but I've visited quite a few times on business and have holidayed there a couple of times when I was younger. 8) And, yes, Ishbel is my given name - the Scots Gaelic form of Isobel. No, I don't consider I've travelled and seen everywhere in the world, not by a long chalk I haven't visited Canada or New Zealand, or a number of the East European countries like Bulgaria or Romania.. Limited travel in the Far East and in the Middle East - living in one country there doesn't mean you know the whole Gulf area!
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:06 PM   #10
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Ishbel thank you for sharing. Have you ever visited or heard about Thailand? Reason my one son has friend there and wants to visit. Family thinks there are other more interesting places. That is where all the excitment is with the Tsunami or whatever you way they spell it. Looks like a resort area. This friend said he is not around that location thankfully. I haven't travelled that much and just knowing someone has been around more than I have is admired. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:12 PM   #11
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Yes, I've visited Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand on my way to visit family in Australia. It is a beautiful country and the devastation wrought by the tsunami is just awful.

Thanks for your interest, but I think we'd better let Lifter's thread revert to his theme of HAGGIS!!! 8)
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:23 PM   #12
 
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Hi Ishbel!

Thanks for your insights and contribution on this topic!

A question or two for you...your posting referred to beef bung and to sheep intestine, both of which would give a "sausage-like" output (thinking "visually") which is a fair bit distanced from watching our older Scottish "pipers" "addressing the Haggis" and slicing through the sheep's stomach with the "Skein Dhu" (sp?)...

I got "my" recipe from our Regimental Pipe Major, who has been running this up for our Lodge for, well, a "LONG" time...about 20 years ago, he "permitted" me to "assist"...and I note that it is greatly changed from the lamb's liver, lamb kidney (NEVER LUNGS!)(?), heart and ground up bits of meat...the "binding agent" was always beef suet, as lamb tends to be pretty lean, and mutton is harder to find...

Most of us found that this tasted pretty "strong", and found the "smell" of the cooking innard casings was unappealing at the least!

So a lot of the "current" recipe is "compromise", that caters to the NA "taste", where we don't get a big diet of sheep...

With my upbringing, I sure don't mind any cut of lamb, but agree that "mutton" requires some skill in cooking, if not a pot of mustard on the side!

Are there any other "traditional methods" on record "over there"?

Stands to reason that there'd be "Rich Man/Poor Man" versions, and, since I love the "history of cooking", I'd deeply appreciate your comments!

Best Thanks and Regards!

Lifter
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Old 01-12-2005, 03:46 AM   #13
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Lifter
The 'livers and lights' part of the recipe is an intrinsic part of the dish. Haggis without the lungs would be a modern take on it, I suppose! Also, don't forget the the use of lungs is what makes it illegal to import it to USA! Certainly, my butcher still uses the traditional style of recipe. Unfortunately, each traditional haggis maker jealously guards his recipe - often handed down from generations ago.....

There is a best haggis maker competition in Scotland every year - I've eaten the produce from a couple of them, and there are considerable differences in taste and texture between producers... but I think that, generally, it is the closely guarded 'spices' that the various makers use which gives the distinct differences. As I've already said, I prefer MacSween's haggis, if buying a mass-produced product, however there are lots and lots of producers in Scotland. One of the most innovative must be McKeans - I believe they do a venison version! Here's their website http://www.scottishhaggis.co.uk/Default.htm

The recipe I posted was not my butcher's own - but from a Scots-based website (many of the 'Scots' sites on the web are actually American-based!) I have to confess that I thought all 'traditional' haggis still used the sheeps stomach - and, so far as I know, my supplier still does. I've never seen a sausage shaped haggis anywhere, though - so I presume that the bung would be flexible and pliant enough to turn out the usual ovoid, collapsed rugby ball shape, but I don't know that for certain!

Maybe it's just familiarity, but I don't think haggis has an unpleasant smell when cooking - quite appetising, really :D

I'm going to 2 Burns' Suppers this year - and at one of them, women are allowed to participate in the Selkirk Blessing and the Address to the Haggis.... Yes, we are making great strides in equality..... :D

PS : Skean Dubh!
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:07 AM   #14
 
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Beauty, Ishbel!

Hope you don't mind that I share this around a bit!

Seldom one can get such great input back on a subject like this!

And again, as always, my THANKS for your posting and participation!

Lifter
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:21 AM   #15
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I'm sure if you did a google search for Haggis with the added words Scotland and traditional - you'd probably find a recipe which claims to be THE definitive one....

Glad you found the information interesting.

Slainte
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:12 AM   #16
 
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The very reason one doesn't "google" for a "definitive Texas Chili" recipe, or how to make perogies, or what killed Princess Diana...you'll always get a "definitive answer" that is absolutely unbelievable...

Okay, must head for "work"...

Lifter
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:04 AM   #17
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Yes, but a judicious search might come up with one text which supports another.... and one of the may even BE a definitive version? 8)
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:36 AM   #18
 
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In my "on coming" "retirement", Ishbel, I really do "hope" to find time for such things,,,

In the "meantime", I will catch on to some addresses such as yours, and places to visit, such as come from my forbears, and get the "full experience"...

In Canada, the "appetite" for haggis is pretty much restricted to "Burns Night", and the content may get "traditional"...as opposed to popular taste...

Am conversing with "Brooksy" with how it comes across over in "Oz"...

And laughing about the thorough "beating up" "Leigh" is giving me on her taste of the USA's "Pork"...

Am starting to wonder if my "trout" tastes "watery", or my Salmon, Sole, Tuna, etc, tastes ""salty", because of the "environment" the poor dears are "forced" to live through with their aqueous "leaky" patches of skin!

Oh well...

Did about $100K worth of "business" in the absence of two days, enough to keep at least a couple of "us" employed in the next twelve months...even if "eating" pork or thosevery wierdlyfed chickens, fish or, GOD FORBID, Cdn beef....

Lifter
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:47 AM   #19
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Well, we eat haggis about once a fortnight during the winter - but probably don't eat it at all from May to October! Again, it has to be good haggis - preferably made by my local butcher - whose recipe suits my palate best.

Scottish cuisine uses some of the best ingredients in the world - our salmon and beef and lamb are unbeatable (yes, OK, I know Canada has great fish!) - it's just a pity that our stocks of sea fish are so low, with many of our huge fleets, such as Aberdeen and Peterhead now reduced to a shadow of their former glory. Haddock, Scotland's favourite fish for fish suppers in chip shops is in very, very short supply - and the quotas mean that a lot of our cod and haddock are landed by Faeroe Island boats.

Our soft fruits are glorious - tayberries, loganberries etc - as well as the better known raspberries from round the Aberdeen and Ayrshire areas are sublime. Cranachan with fresh 'rasps' as we call them is a sublime taste experience.

Our baking is famous - bridies, mutton pies, scones, clootie dumplings, selkirk bannocks, Aberdeen rowies.... the list is endless....

I have attended a lot of cookery courses, both in the UK and in mainland Europe - but I am really keen on spreading the gospel of guid Scots fare....

And yet..... yes..... we are the nation who 'invented' the deep fried Mars Bar (no, I've never tasted it, but I've made it for overseas visitors who've requested a sample!) and the deep fried pizza. Which is probably why we are the Heart Attack Capital of Europe. 8)
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:24 AM   #20
 
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At Some point in life, when you want it to be "REALLY" laid back...come to Canada/Ontario, and visit Manitoulin Island ("biggest island in a 'lake', 'with lakes', in the world") and possibly the most "laid back" and "relaxed" place I've ever been to...they "eat" hawberries and such stuff there...famous for it...but I'm sure you would fall in love with the place, Ishbel!
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