Haggis, round one
“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!” -Ode Tae a Haggis, Robert Burns, 1786
In honor of Burns Night (January 25), we’re making Haggis. A traditional Scottish staple,
Just as a disclaimer, we are absolutely planning to prepare our own haggis. However, as it’s tricky to track down all the ingredients, especially in the states, we’re postponing that recipe for just a bit while we search for the elusive wild haggis.
Now, before any haggis lovers go on the defensive, let us just state that of course real haggis is better than canned.
However, we’re crazy about haggis, in just about whatever form it comes. The canned version is one of our camping trip staples, because it is so easy to prepare. A bit of haggis, spread over toast with some melted cheddar on top? Incredible. Mushrooms stuffed with haggis? The ideal appetizer. Biscuits and haggis gravy? A better breakfast has never been enjoyed.
And if you find the list of ingredients off-putting, just think about the last hot dog you enjoyed; it’s no worse than that!
We like the canned version for it’s ease of transportation and storage. The frozen pack is nice if you will be serving haggis to your guests (and don’t want to make it yourself!), but for general purposes, especially in the US where fresh haggis is nigh unto impossible to obtain, canned is the way to go.
To Serve Haggis: We spread the haggis out on a baking sheet or roasting pan, making sure it is evenly distributed. Roast in an oven at about 350 degrees for around 20 minutes. At this point, all the haggis should be hot, but some will have gotten a little crispy. These are the very best parts! Serve with turnips and potatoes (neeps and tatties).
Haggis Toast: Heat the haggis in a large skillet, making sure to keep it moving so it all heats equally. Spread a thin layer on a piece of toast, add a layer of sharp cheddar cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted. NOM.
Biscuits and Haggis Gravy: in a large skillet, melt just over 1 Tbs. of bacon fat or butter. To this, add 1 Tbs. of flour to make a roux. Blend the butter and flour and let cook until it’s a golden brown. Add in 1 cup of milk, stirring all the while to keep lumps from forming. When you have a nice smooth gravy, add the haggis and stir until the whole mixture is hot. Serve over biscuits!