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Recipes: Meat and Vegan haggis 

A little bit of something Scottish for carnivores and herbivores alike.

Meat Haggis

Inspired by a recipe called "Pot Haggis" in The Highlander's Cookbook, by Sheila MacNiven Cameron. That is to say haggis cooked like a terrine, or a pudding, in a double boiler, without the sheep's stomach.

1 cup and a half of pinhead or steel cut oatmeal, toasted.
1/2 lb beef suet
4 onions
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
tsp salt.
1.5 c beef stock or reserved broth from boiling the offal
2 hearts (1/2 lb)
2 liver (1lb)
3 kidney

Cook meats for an hour and a half, then drain and cool, reserving some broth to add later to the mix. The heart is the toughest muscle; cooked long enough it softens, but keeps its beefy texture. Chop it finely, discarding valves and gristle. Grate the dark lamb's liver and the pungent, uric taste of the kidney. Toast the oatmeal in the oven, then add it, along with the suet to the meat. Add the Chop the onion finely and add it (Dennis Johnston cooks the onion briefly in the meat broth before he adds it to the mix). Finally, add the spices.

If you don't have a sheep's stomach, put it into a double boiler and steam for two hours. Make sure there's plenty of water in the pot. I put it in a ceramic bowl, double covered it in tin foil and placed it into a pot. For an extra half hour, I put it in the oven to brown. Result is a moist, very peppery, slightly hot, pudding. The steel cut oats give it texture, and add a nutty taste.

If you do have a clean sheep's stomach (it should already be cleaned when you buy it), then fill it two-thirds full with this mixture. Roughly sew the bag shut and boil it in a pot of water for three hours. When you take it out, let it set and cool off before you try to open it. If you open it hot, it will burst and there will be a mess of stuffing.

Vegan Haggis

I got this recipe years ago from an organic cafe in Glasgow called Grassroots.

1/3 cup steel-cut oats
2-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp each: sea salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup drained, canned brown lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup finely chopped, peeled carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped, peeled rutabaga
1/3 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup canned red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1/4 cup margarine
2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
3 tbsp almonds, chopped
3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp water

In small saucepan, cook oats as per package instructions. Rinse; reserve. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic, onion, salt, pepper and garam masala. Cook, stirring, until onions soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add lentils, carrots and rutabaga. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in kidney beans and butter until it melts. Add peanuts, almonds and walnuts. Cook, stirring, until nuts soften slightly but retain crunch. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved oatmeal.

Add water to 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Add haggis mixture. Cook in preheated 350F oven until top is crispy, 35 to 40 minutes.

Turn haggis out into serving bowl. Using fork, break it up, then fluff.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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