Luke Honey

How to cook your Burns Night haggis

How to cook your Burns Night haggis
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I’ve just bought my Burns Night Haggis, and it’s currently winking up at me cheekily from the kitchen table.  For those of you who claim not to like it, I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  Okay, it might sound—how can I put this—slightly gothic, but in reality it tastes a bit like a spicy meatloaf.  Mind you, all that stuff about “trenching your gushing entrails bricht” doesn’t exactly help the cause.

The Macsweens brand is the Haggis of choice, but most brands share the following ingredients in common: the sheep’s “pluck” (heart, liver, and lungs), suet, spices, salt, and some form of oatmeal, all boiled up in a sheep’s stomach; though I reckon that most of the Haggis’s you buy at the supermarket have an artificial casing.

And then there’s the million dollar question of how to cook the thing.  I favour wrapping it up in tin foil, and roasting it in the oven, though some aficionados like to simmer theirs in boiling water.  Eating it is simplicity itself: slice open the casing with a knife, and spoon out the moist, peppery meat onto you plate.  It works beautifully with a peaty Single Malt such as Laphroaig, which reminds me of the tangy brown coloured water which comes out of Hebridean taps, straight from the loch.

And a word of advice for those poor souls who might be tempted to try the vegetarian version.  Don’t.