Neil's Haggis recipe

by Neil
(Mission Viejo, CA, USA)

This is a recipe for those of us living in the USA and will serve 10-12 people

Ingredients:

2 sheep's hearts
1 lb or 500g of sheep's liver
5 sheep's tongues
1 lb or 500g of oatmeal (see notes)
1 lb or 500g of vegetable shortening
3 large onions
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
800 ml lamb or beef stock

Method:

Chop up the hearts, liver and tongue into cubes removing veins and gristle.
Put the cubes into a suitable size pot and add plenty of water to more than cover the cubes.
Add 2 tblsp salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 45 mins.

While the meat is cooking, put the oatmeal into a large mixing bowl.
Add the salt and spices and mix.
Add the shortening and mix into the oatmeal until you have a thick, even paste.
Finely chop the onions in a food processor and add to the bowl.
Thoroughly mix into the paste which will become slightly thinner.
When cooked, drain the meat cubes and finely grind in a food processor.
Add the ground, cooked meat to the mixing bowl and mix into the paste.
Add the stock and mix until the mixture is smooth.
Add the contents of the mixing bowl to a slow cooker and cook on high setting for around 8 hours occasionally remixing the haggis.
If the haggis is too greasy, skim some of the oil off the top.

Serve with mashed potatoes and mashed neeps. (In the USA what we know as a neep, they call a rutabaga)

If you don't have a food processor you can use a hand mincer to grind the onions and the meat.


NOTES

It has proved almost impossible to make a traditional Haggis from scratch in the USA. There are two major ingredients that are not available because they are banned in the USA - sheep's lung and suet. So after a bit of experimenting I think I have hit on a recipe which produces a Haggis that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. For the organ meat I use sheep's heart, liver and tongue. The sheep's tongue mimics the texture of the lung to some degree. In place of the suet I use Crisco vegetable shortening which seems to work very well. All of these ingredients are available in my local middle eastern market. They have a great and extensive butcher counter with a huge variety of meats (mostly Halal) and lots of unusual things you won't find in the supermarket. They actually have small bags of a brand name Scottish oatmeal which is not particularly cheap. Instead of using that, I purchased some bulk, steel-cut oatmeal which is available in Smart-and-Final as well as most whole food stores. The steel-cut oatmeal is a little coarser than the Scottish stuff and is missing the bran component so I mixed about 1/3 oat bran (available same places) to 2/3 steel-cut to get the correct blend and consistency.

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