So exactly what is a
simple dish using the pluck of an animal; lungs, heart, liver, to which is
added suet or fat, oatmeal, onions and a little stock and seasoning, filled
into some sort of casing or skin.
How is haggis made?
The meat is cooked, then minced (ground) with the onions and mixed with the suet, oatmeal, some of the stock and the seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.)
mixture, whilst hot, is then filled into a casing, which for a traditional
haggis would be natural skins (ox intestine).
If haggis is already
cooked, does it just need to be reheated?
exactly so, but it needs to be piping hot before serving
Can haggis be frozen?
haggis freezes well. In a vacuum bag it can go directly into the freezer,
otherwise, wrap in cling filmand bag before putting in the freezer. No freezer
should be without one!
Could you tell me
something of the history of the haggis?
one knows its exact origins, but it would be true to say that similar dish can
be seen throughout the world which use the offal meats, and turn them into a
tasty dish adding seasonings and a grain or rice.
we do know is that there is a Swedish dish called “Polsa” which is similar, but uses barley rather than oatmeal.
haggis certainly became well established in the Scottish culinary scene as an
every day staple, but it wasn’t just for the peasant classes.
18 th century Scotland, one writer in describing the town life of the
well-to-do in Glasgow, wrote:
1826, Meg Dodds produced “The Cooks & Housewife’s Manual” .
was the landlady of the Cleikum Inn, in St. Ronans, near Peebles, where the
Cleikum Club” met, one of the many dining clubs which flourished at the
time. Sir Walter Scott was among the founders,
and its members celebrated the national literature and the national spirit with
a special interest in old Scots customs.
lot of mystery surrounds Mistress Dodds but what is clear is that the Cleikum
Club was amongst the first to organise a Burns Night.
included haggis in her suggested bill of fare for “St Andrews Day”, Burns
Clubs, or other National Dinners.
pluck and paunch, beef suet, onions, pepper, salt, cayenne, lemon, or vinegar”.
in fact, describes the haggis in its simplest form today.
we go really upmarket:
finer haggis is made by substituting sheep tongues and kidney for most of the
is far removed from the simple cottage fare, and is a prosperous Edinburgh
version of “Let them eat cake”
I have read about include currants, raisins etc.
Information taken from Clarissa Dickson Wright’s little book on haggis.