haggis (HAG-ihs) – Haggis is a Scottish dish made from sheep’s offal (windpipe, lungs, heart and liver) of the sheep, which is first boiled and then minced. It is then mixed with beef suet and lightly toasted oatmeal. This mixture is placed inside the sheep’s stomach, which is sewn closed. The resulting haggis is traditionally cooked by further boiling (for up to three hours).
This is the most traditional of all Scottish dishes, eaten on Burns Night (25th January; the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, 1759-1796) and at Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve). Haggis is traditionally served as “haggis, neeps and tatties”. The neeps are mashed turnip or swede, with a little milk and allspice added, whereas the tatties are creamed potatoes flavored with a little nutmeg. To add that authentic touch, consume your haggis, neeps and tatties with a dram of good whisky.
History: There are no actual records, as far as we are aware, of the origins of haggis, as we know it today. The first known English cookbook is The Form of Cury (cookery), written in 1390 by one of the cooks to King Richard II. It contains a recipe for a dish called Afronchemoyle, which is in effect a haggis. The haggis became well established in the Scottish culinary scene, not as a star dish but as an everyday staple. Like a lot of other foods, haggis probably came about because the raw material was available and it had to be made into a more acceptable form.
Author Clarissa Dickson Wright in her book The Haggis – A Little History makes a case for haggis originally being from Sweden. Scandinavians from Sweden eat haggis with great relish and invariably remark on its resemblance to a dish in their local cuisine. Relations between Scotland and the Nordic world go back to the 9th century. Norsemen, raiders at first, very soon became settlers and farmers. It was late in the 15th century before Orkney and Shetland finally ceased to be dependencies of the Danish crown. The impact of the Norse was far greater than that of the French; they are part of Scotland’s historic fabric. The root of the word haggis is not from Latin languages, and its origin appears to be Scandinavian. There is no doubt that the word haggis is related to such words as the Swedish hagga, meaning to hew or chop; and the Icelandic hoggva, with the same meaning.
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We made this soup in the kitchen when we sold all of the soup of the day and had to come up with a quick and different one using what was available in the Pantry
Haggis&Potato&Marmite Soup with Watercress and a Poached Duck egg on top
Haggis,around 500 grams
Potato,peeled and cut into squares,about 5 medium size
Shallots,5 chopped finely
Spring onions ,5 will do chopped coarsely
1 teaspoon of Marmite
1 teaspoon of English Mustard
1 nip-25 ml- of Single Malt Whisky,we used Macallan 12 year old, you could also use cognac.
1 Liter of good Beef Stock,could be Veggie or chicken
Freshly ground White Pepper
3 Cloves of Smoked garlic
Sea Salt Flakes,like Maldon or Scottish Seasalt ( Hebridean sea salt)
Bunch of Fresh watercress, for soup and then garnish
In a pot at medium heat, saute the shallots,spring onions,garlic until semi soft, then add the potato cubes,stir, Season with Salt and Pepper, keep cooking until shallots become soft.
Put Heat to high, add the Whisky, stir.
Reduce heat to medium again.
Add the Haggis,cook until soft and blended with all the rest of ingredients, add the stock, stir.
Add teaspoon of Marmite, teaspoon of English Mustard and stir, bring to the boil and then simmer until potatos are soft.
Add The Watercress, stir.
Blend with a Hand held blender, taste, adjust seasoning, keep warm.
For serving, use deep bowls, garnish with a Duck poached egg on top and some nice Watercress little bunch, serve hot with nice Artisan Bread and butter.
Sprinkle some Sea salt flakes & pepper on top of the Poached egg.
Copyright@Justlovefood Leith August 2012