Monday, July 30, 2012

Foodie Bucket List: Try Some Haggis in Scotland


I promised everyone in this blog on the day that I left for Scotland that I would eat some haggis.  True to my word, I did.  During our castle tour day, we stopped at a pub in North Berwick and I saw haggis on the menu.  I was feeling adventurous, and so I ordered a plate for Joey and I to split. (That way, if I didn’t like it, I could make him eat it.)  Luckily, or maybe unluckily, I didn't have to push the plate his way: we both devoured it like vultures on a dying man in a desert. 

For those of you who don’t know why tasting the traditional Scottish meal "haggis"was a big deal, here is a recipe for your reading enjoyment:

Ingredient Numero Uno: A set of sheep's heart, lungs and liver (cleaned by a butcher)
One beef bung (What is that exactly?  I do not know the answer and I don’t know if I want to know.)
3 cups finely chopped suet (Not really sure what that is either.)
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

You can find the instructions at http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_haggis.htm, which is where I took the recipe from.  I am sure it is made differently at every restaurant and household in Scotland, but these directions came out on top in the search engine, so the recipe must be popular.

 A more traditional looking haggis meal - not so appetizing! (turnbullclan.com)


The haggis was surprisingly good, for a meal made of sheep innards and onion (I hate onions with a passion).  Our meal consisted of haggis and mashed potatoes piled into a tower with peppered gravy flowing over it like a volcano.  I really enjoyed it, except when I accidentally bit into a whole peppercorn a time or two. 

Our haggis tower with the peppered gravy - yum!

According to the advice of local Scotsmen, “Just don’t think about what you’re eating, and simply enjoy the taste.”  That was what I did, and it turns out I like haggis!  Not that I would eat it everyday, let’s not get carried away... but I tried it, and liked it.  Ah, the spirit of travel!

Our haggis meal, half devoured!

9 comments:

  1. you forgot yo mention that all that meat its stuffed inside lamb intestines, ñom ñom ñom

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  2. I've tried haggis before. I had a coworker who's family is Scottish and always made it for Robbie Burns day so I tried some. I liked it also, but thinking about what it actually is, pretty disgusting lol

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  3. It IS tasty, right Becky? But yes, you really shouldn't think about what it actually is as you're eating it.

    Ah Que Caray - I've seen pictures of haggis stuffed inside lamb intestines (not appetizing at all!) The haggis we ate was not, thank goodness. It was jammed inside a volcano of potatoes instead. Sometimes it is also stuffed inside a lamb stomach. Yummy indeed!

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  4. Although I was unfortunate enough to be reading this post while having breakfast, I must say my hopes for trying haggis one day (the second, alternate version) have been uplifted.

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    1. Bah ha ha - sorry to ruin your meal! But yes, it is worth trying, if only just once.

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  5. Just don't think about what you are eating...Great advice from that man! Kudos for digging in, especially if you hate onions! :)

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    1. Like they say, do what the locals do! And you won't know if you like it or not unless you try it...

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  6. I had been told it was put into a cleaned-out sheep's stomach. However it is made, it is my favorite dish since I tried it on my last trip to Scotland. It just tastes like a very well-seasoned sausage mixture. My friend didn't care for it so she gave me her's too. I ate that and then came home with a can of Haggis also and had it when I came home. It was good, but not as good as the freshly made kind. I hope I can learn to make it.

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    1. I am both thankful and a little disappointed that our meal didn't come in the sheep stomach. Not sure how I would have liked it. I was wondering how the canned haggis would taste - I bought canned alligator down in New Orleans and for sure it wasn't as good as the fresh stuff! But that's no surprise! :)

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