Haggis

A Scottish favourite, haggis is usually off the menu because ALL of the commercial versions contain forbidden spices, usually lots of nutmeg.  And of course the reputation the dish has for being complicated to make and not for the fainthearted means that once diagnosed with OFG, many people who used to enjoy haggis resign themselves to never having it again.

This version of the dish, however, helps avoid the worst of the squeamishness by leaving out the traditional sheep’s lungs & heart.  Cooking is easier as it is baked in a bowl rather than being stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled.  And of course, spicing can be adjusted as to need.

Another benefit of making haggis rather than buying it is the quality of the oats – commercial haggis will use standard, gluten-containing oats, but if you are sensitive to gluten it would be possible to use gluten-free oats or any substitute grain that cooks down to a porridge-like consistency when mixed with water.  If you can only get large grains rather than medium or fine ground meal, most grains can be blitzed in a food processor or pestle & mortar to the required consistency.

A word of warning to anyone considering making haggis following this recipe – it does taste slightly different as the absence of nutmeg is quite obvious, and will taste even more unusual if you are also sensitive to mace (which, although it comes from the same plant as nutmeg, doesn’t always make everyone react).  It is, however, the closest safe approximation of the spice mix that I could come up with.

This makes around 8 portions, but can be divided and frozen once cooked.

200g – 250g pack of lambs liver and lambs kidneys

1 lamb stock pot/cube OR leftover bone from a roast leg of lamb or similar.

400g pack lamb mince

3-4 onions, roughly chopped

400g medium or fine ground oatmeal or a gluten-free alternative

A bayleaf OR 1 tsp dried summer savory

2 teaspoons salt

3 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground blade mace (optional for those who can tolerate it)

stock saved from step 1

  1. Place the liver & kidneys – whole & unchopped – in large pan of cold water, add about half a teaspoon each of salt and freshly crushed black pepper and either the bayleaf or summer savory.
  2. Add to the same pan either the stock pot/cube or the bone from the roast meat, ensuring it is covered in water, and bring to the boil then simmer gently for about an hour.
  3. When cooked, strain off the stock and set the stock aside. Take out bayleaf, if used, and the bone, if used, and discard.
  4. Blitz the cooked liver & kidneys, and the raw onion in a food processor until fine.  This can be done with a knife if necessary but will take quite a while as the liver, kidney and onion all need to be chopped to approximately the same consistency as the mince
  5. Put the chopped/food processed meat and onion in a bowl and add the fresh (raw) minced lamb, the oats or alternative grain, the remaining salt & pepper, 2 teaspoons of dried ground coriander and 2 teaspoons of mace if you can tolerate it. Mix well and add enough stock to make a gloopy, sticky consistency.
  6. Put haggis in a slow cooker, set to high/cook, and cook for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Leave haggis until cool enough to handle then roll portions into an oval using greaseproof paper and foil. Put in an ovenproof dish with boiling water in the same dish comibg about 2cm up the side of the haggis. Bake for around 45 minutes in a medium oven.
  8. Serve with neeps and tatties (AKA swede and potatoes!).
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About Tiger

dreamer. writer. thinker. sometimes all three at once.
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