The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.53
SUMMER2017

An accessible haggis recipe.

He has his detractors and his manic jollity can get irritating but Jamie Oliver can write a cookbook and Great Britain may be his best. It includes the only haggis recipe the editor has found that is practical enough for the cook at home actually to attempt. It also tastes haggisy, meaning that it tastes good, even though Oliver has taken great liberties with the traditional mixture of ingredients, and we in turn have taken a few liberties with his. A food processor for mincing vegetables, bacon and offal makes this recipe exponentially easier. Halved from the original version to serve eight.

 


 

  • about 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
  • Jamies_Great_Britain_cover.jpg 2 teaspoons allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ a nutmeg, grated
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground pepper
  • 2 finely minced celery stalks-
  • 2 finely minced bacon slices
  • 3 peeled and finely minced onions
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • a lamb’s heart, ground
  • about ¼ lb split, cleaned and coarsely ground lamb kidneys
  • about ¼ lb coarsely ground chicken livers
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 cups lamb (preferred but hard to find) or beef stock
  • generous splash Worcestershire
  • ½ lb toasted steel-cut pinhead oatmeal ( not rolled oats; see the Notes about toasting)
  • generous Tablespoon Scotch whisky
  • heaped teaspoon lemon zest
  • heaped teaspoon orange zest

 


 

  1. Set a heavy pot (cast iron, whether or not enameled is ideal) over medium heat and bring the oil to a shimmer. Stir the allspice, clove, nutmeg and pepper into the oil for a minute or two, then quickly stir the bacon, celery and onion into the spiced oil.
  2. Let the vegetables soften, then add the lamb and heart, followed by the kidney and liver. Cook the mixture until the meat shows golden tinges, usually in about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the bay leaves, 1 cup of stock and the Worcestershire into the pot, cover it and simmer the haggis on the lowest possible heat for about 2 hours, stirring as needed to forestall scorching. Add more stock if needed.
  4. Puree about a cup of the haggis in a food processor and dump it back into the pot along with the toasted oatmeal and the rest of the stock.
  5. Simmer the haggis uncovered for about another half hour before adding the whisky and citrus.
  6. Check the haggis for salt--you are bound to need some.
  7. Serve the haggis in the traditional manner with mashed turnip and mashed potato, or combine the two to make clapshot.

 

Notes:

-To toast the oatmeal, preheat the oven to 350°, then just scatter the oatmeal on a cookie sheet and bake until golden, usually in 20-25 minutes.

-Oliver uses half ground beef and half ground lamb instead of lamb alone, for another layer of flavor. The use in Scotland of beef, lamb (or more commonly mutton back in the day) or venison is equally traditional even though haggis now has a closest association with lamb. The offal from whatever animal had been freshly slaughtered went into the stomach to make a haggis. Combining different meats in a single haggis therefore is not, strictly speaking authentic, so you might choose lamb liver over the chicken.

-Substitution may not be traditional but is entirely acceptable. If you cannot get lamb’s heart, try pork or veal but do use some heart for your haggis.

-Our whisky mustard sauce for haggis also appears in the practical.