desperance: (Default)
So I made a haggis, and I am pleased tho' not satisfied; and everyone ate some of it, and some people ate most of it, and there wasn't much at all left for my lunch today.

And I'm mostly posting this for the record, because it may be some while before I do this again and I'd like to remember what I did; tho' I have also been asked for the recipe, which this is barely really a recipe so much as a process, but anyway. This is what I did.

First pluck your sheep:


Then disassemble the pluck:


Then simmer the lungs, liver and heart in water to cover for a couple of hours. Save the liquor, and cool the meat.

Then chop it and mince or grind it coarsely:


Follow the meat through the mincer with three onions. Mix all those minced things thoroughly together, and add half a pound of suet. I used mutton-suet, to wit the fat that was around the kidneys of the sheeps, not rendered in any way but simply chopped very finely with a knife; but it took two sheeps'-worth to come close to half a pound. Weirdly, this was my favourite part of the whole process. Is suet-maker a profession?

Toast a pound of pinhead oatmeal (steel-cut oats, for US consumers) on a baking tray in the oven, till it's golden and nutty, ten minutes or so; turn it over a few times as it toasts. Cool that down, and mix it in.

Chop quite a lot of sage leaves finely, and grind a tablespoon of allspice berries. Mix those in, along with more than a tablespoon of salt (I used a tablespoon and it wasn't enough) and ditto ditto freshly ground black pepper (ditto ditto).

Do all the mixing with your hand, unless you're texture-phobic. Add half a pint of the cooking liquor, and end up with this (which is the point it starts smelling like haggis):


If you don't have a sheep's stomach to pack it in - as I, I myself did not - then oil or butter or otherwise grease a pudding-basin. I used almond oil, and I'm not sure why; we had a conversation at the time about why I was choosing almond over olive, and I had no more answer then than I do now. Maybe it's some association with "pudding", because almond is my sweet oil of choice for non-savoury dishes, but nothing is more savoury than a haggis, so... *shrugs*

Then set in a pan of water, bring to the boil and cook for three hours.

At this point I would show you a photograph of the finished article, but I forgot to take one. I believe others have posted pix to Facebook, but it just looks like a pudding-shaped skinless haggis.

It was maybe a little drier and more crumbly than I'd like; it was certainly underspiced, and I don't just mean for my palate. M'wife said "bland", and meant it. Haggis should not be bland. But nevertheless, I'm pleased; and confident now, ready to plunge ahead with a bolder and more assertive version. Wanting only the opportunity, sometime this side of next Burns Night...


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June 2017

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