27 January, 2010

I Ate Haggis. On Purpose.

No, it wasn't a dare. I honestly purchased the haggis materials myself, while vacationing in Scotland. I sort of brought it back home to Rick as a joke, but was also half-serious about actually eating it. Haggis gets a bad rap because it's made of all kinds of offal. It is mixed with oatmeal and cased in stomach lining, which doesn't sound appetizing but the end result is pretty darned delicious.

Monday was Burns Night, which is the traditional Scottish celebration of the life and works of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. A traditional Burns Night Supper consists of haggis, neeps, and tatties, and according to some on the web, it can also contain Cock-a-Leekie Soup or Cullen Skink (a smoked haddock chowder) to start. Also, there is usually some sort of dessert, such as Clootie Dumping, Tipsy Laird (sherry trifle, one of my personal favorites!) or Cranachan. And it most definitely is all served with fine Scotch whiskey!

Since I had limited resources, I used what I had, which was a tin that I bought containing haggis ingredients, swede turnips ("neeps") and a packet of dried mashed potatoes ("tatties") which I actually added to with fresh taters.

In addition, I walked into town and picked up an honest-to-goodness finnan haddie (smoked haddock) and I think it was the first time anyone had ever purchased one because the fish market guy wanted to know all about it, what I was making with it, and to come back and tell him how it went. HAH!

Here are the results of our Burns Night Supper which ended up really delicious. I cannot complain! We both enjoyed every bite.


The raw ingredients for Cullen Skink.
Boiling the haggis and cooking the haddock in milk and cream.
Peeling the potatoes for the Cullen Skink was oddly therapeutic.

The finished Cullen Skink, at least according to two recipes
I consulted. It might have been a bit thin. I mashed the potatoes
instead of adding them as chunks. But we loved it!
The finished Burns Supper with a half of a haggis per plate
flanked by neeps on one side and tatties on the other.


  1. Sounds so fun! The British food names are always intriguing to my American ears. Have you seen the Good Eats show on oatmeal, which features Alton Brown with a silly fake accent?

  2. Fabulous write-up! You've almost convinced me to try Haggis! :-)

    Maria xoxo

  3. Yeeeks!
    I've had fresh haggis, and ... well, hmmmm ... it takes a bit of, pardon the pun, "stomach" to stomach it, considering your descriptive phrase "awful offal". All the rest is scrumptious, although I do believe the Scots may get a wee crankie about having their food names termed British.

  4. Hi Cuisle,

    Would never DREAM of calling Scottish food by any other name (ie. British) than what it is: Scottish.