A Home-made Haggis for Burns’ Night!

The Haggis is a very old, traditional Scottish dish that combines meats, spices and oatmeal.  A traditional recipe for haggis would involve the boiled and minced liver, lungs and heart of a sheep mixed with chopped onions, toasted oatmeal, salt, pepper, and spices.  The mixture would then be stuffed into the cleaned sheep’s stomach, sewn up and then boiled gently for several hours. It is similar to a mixture of both our Irish Black & White Puddings mixed together!
A Traditional Haggis with Neeps and Tatties & a Wee Dram!
Here in Donegal, with our historic association with Scotland and Scottish traditions, we have  long been enjoying the lightly spiced and peppery flavours of this famous dish. Haggis is traditionally eaten on “Burns Night” which falls on the 25th January and is the birthday of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns
Robert Burns – celebrating the poets birthday made the Haggis world famous!
The dish is usually served with “neeps and tatties” which is mashed turnip and potatoes, a whiskey sauce, a few readings of some poetry along with copious amounts of whiskey to toast the Haggis!

That’s me (the chef) last year, where I was asked to assist with A Burn’s Supper
put on by the members of the local Ulster-Scots community. It was an honour to be asked
and a sign of the changes being achieved in Irish historical relationships.

Here is a modern version of an old Haggis recipe where instead of the sheep’s stomach you cook the Haggis in a casserole dish.

My Ingredients:
500g minced lamb
500g minced beef
125g suet (beef or vegetable)
500g beef liver
100g of porridge oats
300ml of  meat stock (strain this from the boiled meat)
250g finely chopped onions
½ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground mace
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground coriander
butter for greasing
sea salt
ground black pepper

My Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Cover the roughly-cut liver with cold water, bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Strain & cool and then chop the liver with the onion, in a blender or on a board, as finely as you can.
3. Cover the lamb & beef mince with water and bring to the boil in a large pot. Cook out for approximately 40 minutes and cool. Keep 300ml stock from this cooked meat.
4. Give the porridge oats a rough chop and toast them in a hot pan or under a grill, shaking occasionally to make sure they don’t burn.
5. Mix all the ingredients together with the stock and transfer to a well greased casserole dish and cover with a layer of tin-foil.
6. Place in a bain marie (a water bath) using a pan large enough to accommodate the dish and add boiled water around it, to come ¾ of the way up the dish. Check this from time to time and top up the water level. Cook for about 2½ hours and serve immediately. I like to stack mine up for presentation.
A modern version of the traditional Haggis – simple food but tasty!
For the Whiskey sauce:
500ml cream
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbls Dijon mustard
2 tsp Irish whiskey
sea salt
ground white pepper
3 tbls chopped scallions

To make the whiskey sauce, heat the cream in a pan over a medium heat. Add the wholegrain mustard, Dijon mustard, scallions and whiskey and stir with a small whisk. Increase the heat until the mixture is simmering and cook for 1-2 minutes until it thickens up a little. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and ground white pepper.

To serve – spoon out the Haggis, accompanied with mashed turnips and potatoes and drizzle with the whiskey sauce. If you have to heat it up again, do so in a microwave on full power and make sure it is piping hot!

Oh! And here is my Photo-shopped version
of what a Haggis animal (if there were such a thing) may look like!

A real-live Haggis spotted, browsing, on Ben Nevis! He!He!

Don’t forget to Feed the Fish at the bottom of this Post!


About IrishFoodGuide.ie - Zack Gallagher

Chef. Zack Gallagher. @IrishFoodGuide on Twitter. News about Food, Food Producers, Chefs and Irish Food Tourism, in Ireland. HDip in and Food & Tourism Marketing. Irish Food Blogger & Chef. Food Ambassador for Failte Ireland. Judge at Blas Nah Eireann Irish Food Awards
This entry was posted in Haggis, http://verygoodrecipes.com/recipes, ireland, recipe, Robert Burns, Scotland. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Home-made Haggis for Burns’ Night!

  1. This is a wonderful looking recipe, looking forward to trying it tomorrow. About how many servings does this make? Trying to figure out if I'll need to alter the proportions a bit to serve 7.

  2. About 6 or 7 potions Gordon so ya can scale it up to feed a wee house full!! :)

  3. Jo Arbon says:

    Just made this and it was a roaring success – tasted exactly like Haggis should. I did give the sauce a twist by adding marmalade though, and it was yummy. Thank you for posting the recipe

  4. I cannot wait to try this recipe, it look fab and uses up those innards flying around, the whisky sauce accompanying it is the icing on the cake!
    Served with sauteed kale and garlic and good company this should rock!

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