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Haggis


dcpolicywonk
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I ordered and enjoyed a "tower of haggis" starter last year in Aberdeen.

The menu was largely pub fare, but included a few such surreal culinary flourishes.

Then I made the mistake of relating to our hosts my chef instructor's opinion about the limited range of oatmeal. Our home-cooked supper the following night incorporated this theme ingredient in every course.

:P

I don't suppose you (or anyone else) knows of a place in the DC Metro area where one can get haggis?

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The Royal Mile Pub in Wheaton has haggis on the menu.

They've been around for 20 years, but I haven't been there in over 10, when I actually lived around the corner for a few years. I remember it as being a pretty authentic Scottish pub. (I've been to Scotland several times, so I do have a frame of reference to compare it to.)

Alas, I have no specific recollection as to the quality of their haggis. Probably because I made it through much of this list instead.

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(Didn't Hannah projectile vomit after eating haggis tagliatelle once?)...

Vomit, yes. Projectile, no. :P

And it wasn't the fault of haggis in general, just that particularly ill-advised preparation thereof. If there was someone around here making proper haggis, I'd definitely give it a try.

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Perhaps someone needs to make some haggis for a DR dinner. I tried it once in my semi-native Scotland-- supposedly, I'm a descendent of Robert Burns himself-- and I'm not anxious to try it again. The taste wasn't so bad, it was just the smell from cooking it that makes one gag. It was fookin awful. Maybe if it was made in one place and served in another I'd like it.

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Yeah, and your great-great-great grandfather was murdered by Billy The Kid, too.

I swear, Bob Ollinger, got blasted with a shotgun by Billy the Kid!

Poor Ol' Bob

I'm also supposed to be related to Robert Fulton. So, let's review: Bob Ollinger, Robert Burns, and Robert Fulton. Basically I'm related to any famous guy named Robert.

Robert Redford is my brother. Sorry to go off topic, but I'm finishing up the dregs of a number of liquor bottles for the sake of making space in my apartment. This Hendrick's gin is a killer.

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The heat was affecting my brain by the time I got to the food vendors at the Potomac Celtic Festival in Leesburg in June, but I do remember that one truck did offer Haggis on their menu. Considering the heat and, um, other things, I opted instead for the fish & chips. :P

Maybe next year I'll take a friend, or even Mr. S, and have someone try the Haggis. :wub:

And to think that I've moved up to Clam on Haggis!

ScotteeM

Edited by ScotteeM
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The heat was affecting my brain by the time I got to the food vendors at the Potomac Celtic Festival in Leesburg in June, but I do remember that one truck did offer Haggis on their menu.  Considering the heat and, um, other things, I opted instead for the fish & chips. :lol:

Maybe next year I'll take a friend, or even Mr. S, and have someone try the Haggis. :D

And to think that I've moved up to Clam on Haggis!

ScotteeM

You have the right idea, Scottee. I'd pay someone else to eat my haggis too. :P

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Perhaps someone needs to make some haggis for a DR dinner. I tried it once in my semi-native Scotland-- supposedly, I'm a descendent of Robert Burns himself-- and I'm not anxious to try it again. The taste wasn't so bad, it was just the smell from cooking it that makes one gag. It was fookin awful. Maybe if it was made in one place and served in another I'd like it.

Al,

We may be cousins. I am related to Robert Burns grandfather!

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Resurrecting this thread since a friend of mine is planning on making haggis for Burns Night in January, and I'm investigating the possibilities.

There seem to be several doable recipes floating around on the web with varying degrees of, ahem, authenticity. So, to begin, anybody know a good sheep's stomach vendor? Barring that, a suitable substitute. I'm expecting the rest of the bits to fall into place; one would assume a sheep's stomach guy would also have a beeline on liver and heart. Barring that I'm prepared to go with more readily available beef parts, or mix them in with lamb. The casing is the limiting factor at this point. Would more traditional sausage casings work as well? Are they available in the proper size? This may need to be a largish haggis.

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Several of the "true" ingrediants are illegal to sell in the good old USA, so yes I would use a sassage cases or cow stomach. There are a couple of places in the US that sell Hagis and you might want to google to you find them. In fact, lets pool resourses and I will try to make some as well. Maybe the next DR.com cookout will have a haggis cookoff!

Resurrecting this thread since a friend of mine is planning on making haggis for Burns Night in January, and I'm investigating the possibilities.

There seem to be several doable recipes floating around on the web with varying degrees of, ahem, authenticity. So, to begin, anybody know a good sheep's stomach vendor? Barring that, a suitable substitute. I'm expecting the rest of the bits to fall into place; one would assume a sheep's stomach guy would also have a beeline on liver and heart. Barring that I'm prepared to go with more readily available beef parts, or mix them in with lamb. The casing is the limiting factor at this point. Would more traditional sausage casings work as well? Are they available in the proper size? This may need to be a largish haggis.

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I used to work for someone who belonged to a club in Chicago that had a Burns Night dinner every year, and one year the Haggis they had sent over from Scotland didn't make it through customs for reason of "Not Fit For Human Consumption". The person told me "We knew that already, what's the big deal?"

I had the Haggis experience in 2001, staying in a small hotel outside 'verness. We used the hotel for our "base of operations" and usually only had morning coffee and dinner there. One day, the cook we hired for the two weeks we were there procured a Haggis and made a whisky sauce (very important) to accompany. Although I began the day dreading the thought, I had seconds! She had told me "If you like liverwurst, you'll be OK with Haggis!". She was right.

Spouse did a Burns Night dinner for a Directors meeting at a nice hotel in Santa Barbara some years back, with a Burns impersonator/reader and piper, and even persuaded the Asian chef to create a Haggis after providing the recipe. Of course, in CA, it's not considered within code to cook anything in a sheep's stomach, but it was OK to do it for "display purposes only". Some of the attendees who were made of stouter stuff did sneak up and try it.

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Several of the "true" ingrediants are illegal to sell in the good old USA, so yes I would use a sassage cases or cow stomach. There are a couple of places in the US that sell Hagis and you might want to google to you find them. In fact, lets pool resourses and I will try to make some as well. Maybe the next DR.com cookout will have a haggis cookoff!

Yeah, I had read up on some of the banned substances. I figure nobody is going to really miss the lungs.

The thought of ordering the haggis crossed my mind, but where's the fun in that?! Are there any butchers in the area that folks have had success with ordering non-standard ovine and/or bovine parts?

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...She had told me "If you like liverwurst, you'll be OK with Haggis!". She was right.

I was told the same thing by Charlie Lamb when I called to order some of his haggis (both the stomach-cased version and the links) a few years back. I love liverwurst, but didn't quite agree with his inference...at least with respect to his version.

The non-traditional canned US-made variant sold by Caledonian Kitchen is pretty tasty though, especially their vegetarian version which is similar in flavor to the canned one sold in the UK by Macsween. I also like the haggis served at the Royal Mile Pub in Wheaton.

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Sorry, I can't help on the ingredients, But earlier in the thread there was some mention of highland games vendors, Burns Night and the like. Since I've been to many highland games over the years I thought I should give a small warning. On the subject of haggis, there are two common but quite different views among the various people (Americans, at least) who make the stuff for public consumption. Some do their best to make it edible, and on occasion even tasty. I've had quite good haggis - not liking the taste of liver, I didn't care for it, but I recognize its quality. And then there are the others, who find it disgusting, and who take pride in claiming such a foul-tasting substance as their cultural heritage. They often go out of their way to make it as unpalatable as possible. So when consulting the "experts," make sure you know who you're dealing with and what their personal agendas might be. If the haggis is firm and dark and appears well-seasoned, you may be in luck. The soft, spongy, gray stuff should be avoided like the plague.

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I like this approach.... http://www.gumbopages.com/food/scottish/haggis.html

Lamb heart and liver can (I think) be found at Super H. Most of the other ingredients as well. I will try to make this version on the 26th (Burns nicht). If some other people are into putting together a small haggis tasting (with appropriate beverages and sides) let me know and I would be happy to host. BYOSM (bring your own single malt).

We can also order a haggis or pick up a few cans as a taste comparison.

Scott

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No need to go to the trouble of cooking. Frozen haggis are readily available just outside Chantilly, at The British Pantry.

I always pick up five or six when I'm in the 'hood, so I can microwave them for breakfast.

Does this place also carry black pudding or white pudding? I've been looking for a local source for those items. Or if this place doesn't sell them, anyone know of somewhere that does?

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I'm planning on manufacturing a T-shirt that says "Got Haggis?"

It's been done, several times by different people. Any decent-sized Scottish festival should have at least a couple of different versions available.

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So how are they? Do you know the name brand?

I don't know. I had hoped -- as I may have mentioned to you and a couple of other Scottsmen on the board -- to channel the McCullough branch of the family tree and have a little Haggis-fest for Burns Day, including home-made stuff and the frozen version as a kind of benchmark for comparison (wrong as that may be). Alas, as I'm sure you know, the best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley, and I'll be somewhat south of the highlands on that auspicious day. If you've a mind to check them out sometime in February, though, squeeze the pipes, laddie, and I'll come running.

Does this place also carry black pudding or white pudding? I've been looking for a local source for those items. Or if this place doesn't sell them, anyone know of somewhere that does?

You can call them -- I linked to their web page.

I personally find Chantilly to be the middle of nowhere, but if you've a mind to go out to horse country or the Shenandoahs for a little antiquing or snow-shoing, it's an easy detaour from the big roads.

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Lets postpone till sometime in Feb (maybe the 23rd?). That will give me some time to do a dry run on the cooking and to get out to eastbuttfuk Virginia to pick up some frozen stuff. BTW, they have a great selection of all sorts of pies and English/Scottish stuff. I think we have 12 or so people interested. I am offering to host and to wear my kilt. I know a few others have a interest in this as well. We will procure a quality and quantity of wee drams to keep everyone happy. I also have a few swords if we consume too much and have to fight over the leftovers.

On a related note. Do you think I could sub beef or pork heart and liver for lamb/sheep? Is there much of a difference in taste?

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Does this place also carry black pudding or white pudding? I've been looking for a local source for those items. Or if this place doesn't sell them, anyone know of somewhere that does?
They generally stock a couple of different kinds of black pudding and at least one of white pudding, as well as Galtee bacon, pork pies, sausage rolls, and the rest of your British or Irish meat-product-of-indeterminate-origin needs. :(

Oh, and if you're still expecting to find them in Chantilly, you'll have to keep driving for a bit - they've moved a few miles further out Rt. 50, to Aldie.

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It's been done, several times by different people. Any decent-sized Scottish festival should have at least a couple of different versions available.

:( Boy was I late on that one! Even online there are lots of designs available. :(

That certainly saves me a lot of trouble.

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Lets postpone till sometime in Feb (maybe the 23rd?). That will give me some time to do a dry run on the cooking and to get out to eastbuttfuk Virginia to pick up some frozen stuff. BTW, they have a great selection of all sorts of pies and English/Scottish stuff. I think we have 12 or so people interested. I am offering to host and to wear my kilt. I know a few others have a interest in this as well. We will procure a quality and quantity of wee drams to keep everyone happy. I also have a few swords if we consume too much and have to fight over the leftovers.

On a related note. Do you think I could sub beef or pork heart and liver for lamb/sheep? Is there much of a difference in taste?

You have to go for the real stuff, or you will never live it down. On a related subject, are the wee drams consumed before the kaber toss, or after? Will you admit you are trying to buy odd ingredients from a DR member in Gainesville, Va. ( which is close to, but not the same as eastbuttfuk)? Kilt wearers will be sans bloomers? Can i nominate someone for the kaber toss, after he has consumed many, many wee drams? Could you include some "lamb fries"? (a dish a women find amusing and causes many men to cross their legs, tightly)? Questions, questions, questions. Thank you, laddie.
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On a related subject, are the wee drams consumed before the kaber toss, or after? Will you admit you are trying to buy odd ingredients from a DR member in Gainesville, Va. ( which is close to, but not the same as eastbuttfuk)? Kilt wearers will be sans bloomers? Can i nominate someone for the kaber toss, after he has consumed many, many wee drams?

I guess I'm the DR.com resident expert in caber tossing, with somewhere around 150 attempts in competition (no comment on how many attempts were actually successful). Whisky is most definitely consumed AFTER the caber toss, not before. Although the caber toss itself was probably thought up by a bunch of drunks, it really should be done sober. There are other events in the highland games that can be done under the influence (and often are).

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Here is the recipe I am attempting this weekend. ANyone know where I can get a beef bung?

INGREDIENTS

1 beef bung

1/2 lb “old fashioned” oats

4 tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 lbs lamb meat, in chunks

1 lb beef liver, in large chunks

1 tbsp allspice

2.5 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

1 tbsp mustard powder

1 lb lard (suet would be better, if available)

1 cup beer

INSTRUCTIONS

Rinse the beef bung thoroughly, inside and out. Soak in lukewarm water for at least 1 hour.

Toast the oats on a cookie sheet in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saute the onion in the butter until translucent, and allow to cool.

Mix the spices, onion, lamb, liver, oats and lard in a large ziplock bag. Put in the freezer until quite cold (even stiff) but not frozen.

Grind the meat mixture using a large die. If you don’t have a grinder, chopping everything up into very small pieces might do the trick. Use less beer in the next stage if you go this route.

Put the meat mixture in a Kitchen Aid on low setting for one minute. Add the beer, and mix on medium for one minute, until everything gets sticky.

Cut the bung into three equal pieces. One will be closed at one end, open at the other, while the other two will be open at both ends. Sew one end of the two-ended pieces shut with a needle and (strong) thread.

Stuff each bung bag with the meat mixture. Squeeze out all the air, but leave some slack in the bag so that the contents can expand. Sew each bag shut.

Unless you have a big Burns Supper planned, you should probably put two of the haggises in the freezer at this point.

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer, and add the haggis. Simmer gently for at least three hours.

Serve ceremonially with tatties and neeps (mashed potatoes and turnips).

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Here is the recipe I am attempting this weekend. ANyone know where I can get a beef bung?

INGREDIENTS

1 beef bung

1/2 lb “old fashioned” oats

4 tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 lbs lamb meat, in chunks

1 lb beef liver, in large chunks

1 tbsp allspice

2.5 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

1 tbsp mustard powder

1 lb lard (suet would be better, if available)

1 cup beer

INSTRUCTIONS

Rinse the beef bung thoroughly, inside and out. Soak in lukewarm water for at least 1 hour.

Toast the oats on a cookie sheet in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saute the onion in the butter until translucent, and allow to cool.

Mix the spices, onion, lamb, liver, oats and lard in a large ziplock bag. Put in the freezer until quite cold (even stiff) but not frozen.

Grind the meat mixture using a large die. If you don’t have a grinder, chopping everything up into very small pieces might do the trick. Use less beer in the next stage if you go this route.

Put the meat mixture in a Kitchen Aid on low setting for one minute. Add the beer, and mix on medium for one minute, until everything gets sticky.

Cut the bung into three equal pieces. One will be closed at one end, open at the other, while the other two will be open at both ends. Sew one end of the two-ended pieces shut with a needle and (strong) thread.

Stuff each bung bag with the meat mixture. Squeeze out all the air, but leave some slack in the bag so that the contents can expand. Sew each bag shut.

Unless you have a big Burns Supper planned, you should probably put two of the haggises in the freezer at this point.

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer, and add the haggis. Simmer gently for at least three hours.

Serve ceremonially with tatties and neeps (mashed potatoes and turnips).

Where's the sheep's stomach?

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