The origins of Haggis are highly debated the world over. Despite now being recognised worldwide as Scotland’s national dish, many nations try to lay claim to it ranging from India to England and even the Swedish have had a say.
Wherever it comes from, the dish shows great versatility in its use of the now-discarded parts of the animal, that were once highly regarded in many gastronomical processes across the globe. This was especially true for those who were poor and had to savour every part of the animal. Peasant food or in French “Cuisine de la grand-mere” is the backbone of every cultural dish and none more so than Haggis.
Below is our recipe for Haggis here at Mara Restaurant @ Links House Royal Dornoch
- 1*sheeps pluck
- 250g onion (small dice)
- 25g butter
- 250g porridge oats
- 200g shredded suet
- 500ml of the pluck stock
- 20g Jamaican All Spice
- Place the Sheep’s Pluck in a large pan and cover with water. (Note if the windpipe is attached – hang this over the edge of the pot and trap with lid. Also, lay a plate under to catch any residue).
- Simmer the sheep’s pluck for 2-3 hours, skimming the water and topping at regular intervals. In the meantime cook the onion gently in the butter until soft but with no colour. Place the porridge oats on a baking tray and toast until golden brown.
- When the pluck is cooked remove from the water, pass the water through a fine sieve into a clean pot and reserve 500ml of this. Remove the windpipe from the pluck and discard, chop the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys into small cubes (alternatively pulse in a food processor until minced consistency).
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, roll tightly in cling film followed by tinfoil & steam for a further 90 mins.
You can serve this with the traditional champit neeps & tattie (mashed swede & potato) With my Haggis, Neeps & Tatties I sometimes like to twist things a little. Using the haggis neeps and tatties as an accompanier I like to serve some Roast Jerk Chicken alongside. The Haggis contains Jamaican Allspice or (pimento pepper). This could be where Burns had his love for the dish following his time as an accounts manager on the Douglas Sugar plantation in Jamaica
So my addition of Jerk chicken is another little homage to the great bard.
Jerk Spiced Chicken
- 90g onion
- 50g rubbed thyme
- 30g allspice
- 30g cracked black pepper
- 7g ground cinnamon
- 7g cayenne pepper
- 60g vegetable oil
- Simply blitz all ingredients in a food processor to form a smooth paste.
- Take a medium chicken and salt the bird evenly all over, (not too heavily)
- Rub the bird with the jerk spice mix. Roast in a medium to hot oven to get a nice crisp skin, as per your usual roast chicken.
- Serve this with your haggis, neeps & tatties to add another dimension to a classic dish
Chefs tip: – reserve a little of the jerk mix and add to a thick gravy with a good dram of scotch and some cream to add a nice creamy sauce for the dish…
Note: – the Jerk spice can be hot serving with some roast lemons on the side to squeeze over the chicken as you eat helps mellow the spice (but this is optional)