November 23rd, 2010

camp cook

Hunting the elusive haggis

So far, so good. I cooked the sheep heart and sheep liver for 30 minutes. It made a rich, good-smelling broth. The dog and cats are perking up from all the smells. Zach said he thought it smelled good, too.

I then minced the heart and liver and a pound of suet and added ground turkey, steel-cut oats, (lots of) onions, and some spices. Without a binder like eggs, the loaf I formed didn't hold together, the way meatloaf would. I guess that's why it needs to boil, so the suet will dissolve and work its way through the haggis. In any case, I remember the fresh-cooked haggis I had last time in Scotland was pretty loose (barely holding together); the cold haggis we fried up on my first trip also semi-disintegrated in the skillet. So this is looking pretty normal.

I wound up with a metric boatload of uncooked haggis. I put it into two large ziploc bags, forming two loaves. I figure 24 single servings when it's sliced, so I'll need to make 15 or 20 of this recipe for the Winter Rendezvous. I have that many sheep hearts leftover from the case I had to buy.

The bags went into a roasting pan with water, and that pan is now simmering on the stovetop. After three hours, it should be done. Since I'm using plastic rather than a sheep's stomach for the casing, I guess you could call this baggis instead of haggis -- but I wouldn't advise it.

Anyway, I'm making some neeps and tatties to go with it (turnips, swede [rutabagas], & potatoes), and I will finish the haggis itself with a whisky cream sauce. Deanne is out visiting people today, so this is supper I'm making for us. And breakfast. And Thanksgiving leftovers.
one of those days

Save the Haggis

Well, my ziploc bag idea was a bust. Literally. I've evacuated the mass -- which smells great, by the way -- to ordinary baking dishes and put them back in a water bath to continue the cooking. Don't know how all this will turn out, but it's a learning experience.

Culinary inquest

Well, I got the haggis on the table. It looked like the Blue Plate Special at Hell's Diner, but it tasted fine. Deanne enjoyed it, too. We both had seconds.

I think it needs less suet. Textural thing. Definitely more pepper. Deanne thinks grinding the organ meats rather than mincing them would make it smoother. The sauce was awful (too sweet).

I think the way to go is to cook the haggis in ramekins or loaf pans in a water bath on top of the stove. Then all you have to do is turn it out and slice it.

Next adventure: Haggis. It's not just for breakfast anymore!