Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Burn's Night Haggis

I never turn down an invitation to our Scottish friend's Burns Night party. For you not in the Scottish know, Burns Night is to Scotland kind of what Fourth of July is to America.

Haggis!

Burns Night (January 25th) is when Scotland celebrates the birthday of their national poet Robert Burns with a big dinner of nips and tatties, haggis, and plenty of Scottish food and drink. And if you are our friend Brian, eventually the guitars and instruments come out for music and every once in awhile they convince me to do a bit of Scottish Highland Dancing even though I'm a Scottish Country Dancer (Country Dancing is social dancing with a partner. Highland is one person for competition.)

My Highland Fling looks more like a cow flinging itself around the room while wearing a Scottish plaid (it's like a tartan shawl) but I get in touch with my Scottish roots on my mother's side and Husband plays the Honorary Scottish America Guest to the host's Scottish Ex Pat Host With The Mostness. We eat the food of our ancestors. The following day we revel in the fact we live in America where we cook with more than just salt and pepper unlike the UK.



Good times.

Except this year. I am sick. I can't go.

Pout.

Friends being friends, Brian sent Husband home with with a Scottish care package for me - the extra haggis. What a guy!

 If you eat sausage, Haggis shouldn't freak you out.

I know, I know. Haggis is that stuff cooked in a sheep's bladder and sounds freaky and weird and something you'd eat on a dare. I'm here to tell you its tastes a lot like sausage or pate and you will be pleasantly surprised if you take the food risk and try it.

There are as many recipes for haggis as there are for America meatloaf. Most American haggis are made with beef liver (not especially my fave but still good) instead of the sheep organ meats (sounds gross but what do you think they used to make sausage out of, prime rib? No. Scrap meat.) and both countries now cook haggis in a modern sausage casing instead of the traditional sheep's stomach.

You can make a haggis from scratch but most people buy it from a Scottish/Celtic food shop. It is very easy to cook. Steam the haggis until it is thoroughly cooked through and you're done!

Rebels that we are, Husband served our haggis with the non traditional baked potatoes and mixed vegetables on the side.

We skipping saying Robert Burn's poem Ode to a Haggis before cutting it open. We plunked it on the dining room table and dug right in.

Have you tried haggis? What's stopping you?



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