Monday Haggis Blogging

Monday, September 21, 2009

After months of threats, I finally bit the bullet and made haggis this weekend with Greg, the same Greg who gave me Friday's beer for review. That Greg. The thing about Greg and I is that it is impossible to gross us out. There is nothing you can do or say to turn our stomachs. For instance, Greg introduced chocolate pudding fruit to the Nerdery one evening. This is a fruit that must actually begin to rot before it is edible. We found that it had the consistency of pudding, and had a vague chocolate taste to it (made better by the addition of actual cocoa powder). If it promises to be sick, disgusting, and unappetizing, Greg and I will eat it and laugh.

Thanks to Food Network's Alton Brown for the recipe and the fine and good-natured butchers over at Merindorf Meats (an amazingly well-stocked butcher shop in town) for the offal, we set out to make the haggis.

Haggis requires:

  • 1 sheep liver
  • 1 sheep heart
  • 1 sheep tongue
  • 1/2 pound of toasted oats
  • 3 onions
  • salt, pepper, dried herbs of your choosing
  • 1/2 lb. of suet
  • 1 stomach
Merindorf Meats ordered most of the stuff for me. Unfortuately, haggis also calls for lung. But sheep lung is apparently illegal in the U.S. for reasons you can guess. But everthing else was there.
First off, I thought I'd thrill you with pictures of the tongues, livers and hearts:
Yummy. At any rate, you boil the organ meats for two hours. My house smelled far, far less than fantastic at the end of that two-hour stretch. So much so we had to open all the windows and Mrs. Smitty, who at this point has been more than understanding, lit some candles.

At the end of the boil, you mince the organ meats, and mix them with minced suet, minced onions and the toasted oats. Really, when it's all mixed together, you have an offal meatloaf of sorts.

(your truly, mixing)
After mixing, Greg and I decided to add some beer to one of the two batches we made up (yes, two batches of haggis) for flavor and to make it a little more moist. Then, we stuffed the unholy mass into the stomachs.
And here are the stomachs, all full of guts:
Looks great eh? At any rate, when they're all stuffed and ready, you put them in a pot of boiling water for three hours. We had to add water occasionally for a boil that length. At the end of the three hours, pull them out:

...slice them open:

...and serve it with mashed potatoes, a pint of beer, and some bagpipe music!
Honestly, it was...good. Not just good, but pretty tatsy. Somthing I'd cook again, and maybe spice-up with other flavors like cumin, corriander, maybe some cayenne pepper for a little kick. It is also astoundingly filling. After one plate of it, I was pretty full. Lots of oats, lots of meat, and all that suet (unrefined beef fat) really fill you up good. Greg and I were a little bummed that it wasn't more disgusting, and that this dinner would be some crazy badge of honor thing. But no. We got an interesting, time-consuming and tasty meatloaf.

So what's next for Greg and Smitty's Inedible Palate Dinner? Kokoretsi? Or perhaps Lutefisk? We shall see...


Bob 9:13 AM  

With a name like Robert Burns, I think I have broke some type of rule by having never had haggis.

Not sure I want to try it anytime soon. Not that your average sausage is really any better for you.

Bob 11:47 AM  

Kokoretsi, yum!

"The intestines of suckling lambs are preferred."

Nice. Veggie-wife approved.

steves 1:44 PM  

Sounds good. I wish I could have made it over. I agree that adding some spices may be a good idea.

Bob 5:11 PM  

Funny thing, I just received an e-mail that my department is having a lunch where staff bring in foods that represent their heritage or enthnicity.

Hmmmm Haggis.

Dufner 6:07 AM  

I have to admit, that it was pretty hard to brag about. It felt like we were bragging about eating Capt Crunch, or something else that is good. "Guess, what?! I just ate pizza...."

The haggis was really that good, the only side was that it was REALLY greasy, 1/2 lb of suet per stomach was pretty rich, but I'm sure that is why it tasted to good.

Looking forward to our next meal! I'll look and see if we can find some insect matter-meal!

Sopor 8:56 AM  

Perhaps Balut next time?

Bob 11:06 AM  

"Perhaps Balut next time?"

Yum, aborted duckling.

Bob 12:35 PM  

How was the beer Vs. Non-beer Haggis?

Smitty 12:36 PM  

Beer haggis was more moist and had a nicer, rounder flavor. Less liver-y.

Mr Furious 10:28 PM  

I'm not ashamed to admit I'm too much of a pussy to even read this post, never mind prepare and/or eat haggis.

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