Last night I(DeAnn) was treated to my first taste of Haggis.  I had only heard horror stories of this Scottish delicacy.  (Remember the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer?  Harriet Michaels: “Do you actually like haggis?”  Charlie Mackenzie: “No, I think it’s repellent in every way. In fact, I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.”)  And look at the recipe:

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

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.  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.

………So, when the time came to take my first bite it was with fear and trepidation. (I should tell you that I am the complete opposite of the “Bizarre Foods” guy.  When we first started investigating overseas service I was asked what scared me the most about living overseas and my answer was what I might have to eat.)  I knew I had to taste though because I was at Guides and I wanted to set a good example for the girls.  So, trying to force the imagine of sheep entrails out of my mind I went for it.  And, surprisingly, it was good.  No, really.  I’m not sure what I thought sheep innards would taste like, but I was sure it was bad.  But it isn’t.  Therefore, I would like to recommend to everyone who can, celebrate the anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth this Friday, January 25th, with Scots all over the world, and have a haggis. (I recommend getting one from your local butcher. If you stuff the bung yourself you might not be able to eat the finished product.)


5 Responses to “Haggis”

  1. 1 Sarah Hawkins January 27, 2008 at 5:36 am

    Wow…sounds like a great culinary adventure. I am glad you liked it!
    Maybe this is a dumb question, but, what is a beef bung? Or do I want to know?!?

  2. 2 Chris & DeAnn January 27, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Hi Sarah, my guess is that it is either stomach or intestine. The haggis I ate was wrapped in plastic. I am told that the quality of haggis can vary greatly. I’m thankful my first experience was a good one.

  3. 3 Dan Reeves January 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Funny, I was just having a conversation yesterday about humis which I pictured in my mind as haggis. But, once corrected, I couldn’t recall what the name (haggis) was. So, now not only do I know both names and what each are, I can send this link to the friend who hadn’t heard about the food I couldn’t recall the name of (haggis).

    I tried humis for the first time yesterday too. It was good, very flavorful. My only thought was that it should have been warm instead of cold. That thought repulsed my friend. Does anyone eat humis warm?

    I have never tried haggis.

  4. 4 Chris & DeAnn January 29, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    When it is 115 F in the summer, the humis is warm.


  1. 1 Living the Multicultural Life « Walking the Line Trackback on January 27, 2008 at 8:31 pm

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