Haggis is one of the most unique and traditional dishes of Scottish cuisine, considered to be national dish of Scotland. This traditional dish is made by combining the internal organs or offal of either calf or sheep with oatmeal and suet.
The meat is then seasoned with lots of spices to create a spicy mixture which is then boiled in the stomach of the sheep or calf. Haggis may not look appealing but it has a rich nutty and earthy taste.
Offal majorly consists of the heart, liver and lungs of the animal being used for the dish.
Origin & Cultural Significance
There are a number of theories about the origin of the name ‘haggis’. According to some theories, the word ‘haggis’ came from the Scottish word ‘hag’ which means ‘to chop’.
Some other studies suggest that ‘haggis’ came from the French verb ‘hacher’ which also means ‘to chop up’. Words similar to ‘haggis’ are found in Scandinavian languages which include ‘hoggva’ in Icelandic and ‘hagga’ in Swedish. Many dishes that are quite similar to haggis are found in Scandinavian cuisines as well.
Robert Burns was a national bard of Scotland. In 1787 he dedicated a poem to haggis and since then, this poem is regularly performed on every Burns night, an annual event of Scotland. Burns night is celebrated on the 25th of January every year and haggis is the most popular dish for this occasion.
Traditional Scottish Haggis Recipe
Haggis can be made with many variations. The pluck of sheep, calf or lamb can be used. In this version of haggis, we will be using the pluck and stomach of sheep. Let’s have a look at the recipe of this unique Scottish dish.
- Pluck of sheep - 1
- Stomach of sheep - 1
- Suet (raw, hard fat) - ½ lb
- Onions - 2
- Ground black pepper - 2 tsp
- Red chilli flakes - 2 tsp
- Ground coriander - 2 tsp
- Nutmeg - ½ tsp
- Allspice - ½ tsp
- Fresh thyme (slightly chopped) - 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder - ½ tsp
- Oatmeal - ½ cup
- Butter - 1 tbsp
- Salt - to taste
- Chopped parsley
- Green chillies - 2-4
- Take the sheep’s stomach and soak it in salted water. Once it is soaked, turn it inside out.
- Now take a large pot and fill it with water. Add the pluck of sheep in it.
- Let it simmer on a slow flame until it gets tender. This may take around 2 hrs.
- Now remove it from the heat and allow it to cool in the same pot and water overnight.
- Next day, strain the entire pluck. Once it is strained, reserve the stock for later use.
- Take a large bowl and add the strained pluck in it.
- Finely chop the meat of the pluck. Now season the meat with salt, black pepper, red chilli flakes, thyme and chopped onions.
- In a pan, add butter and toast the oatmeal for around 5-10 mins in a medium low flame. Add this lightly toasted oatmeal in the seasoned meat too.
- In this, add the suet and 2-3 cups of the reserved stock. Mix well until the entire mixture is combined together.
- Now take the soaked stomach of the sheep. Fill it with the spicy meat mixture until it is half full. Sew the stomach tightly with a strong thread so that it doesn’t explode during cooking.
- With a skewer, make a few holes on the sewed stomach so that it gets cooked properly.
- In a large pot, add water and bring it to boil. Now place the spicy sewed up stomach in the boiling water and allow it to cook for around 3 hrs. Keep adding more water in the pot.
- Transfer the haggis on a nice serving platter. Cut it open with a sharp knife.
- Garnish it with green chillies and parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g