Monday, 9 August 2010

Haggis





Haggis is not the first dish that comes to mind this time of year, however what do you do with all that pluck from the slaughter of all those spring lambs. You might be asking, what is pluck? Well the pluck is all the edible inners such as the lungs, heart, liver, kidney’s and tongue, making haggis is the quickest and most efficient way of using these extremities.

I like my haggis made with some of the meat trim from the butchering of the lamb as the taste of all that offal alone is a little too strong for my taste, so I weigh my pluck and then add up to 40% in lamb meat trimmings, this ratio works well for my taste buds and also suits those who are a little squeamish.

Ingredients:
1 x Pluck (weighed)
Lamb meat trimmings (up to 40% weight of pluck)
4 x Onions (finely chopped)
2 x Bundles of Parsley (finely chopped)
250g x Beef Suet
250g x Oatmeal
50g x Pearl Barley
Salt & Pepper to taste
Nutmeg to taste (optional)
Add some stock to mix if too dry

Method:
Mince through a 5mm plate the pluck, meat and half the onions, now add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly at the same time season with salt & pepper. Using a sausage filler, force the meat into a sheep’s stomach and tie off, if you don’t have a filler nor any intestines to use as casings, then place your mix into loaf tins and then cook in a bain marie for appx 90mins at 180c.

Once cooked, turn the loaf tin upside down and turnout your haggis, then slice into portions, you could further here, cut shapes out of the slices using pastry cutters to achieve smaller and more aesthetic shapes. Alternatively you can spoon out the haggis and press some into ramekins, then add a glug of whisky and finish with a quenelle of crème fraiche and serve as a starter dish.

When cooking a traditional haggis, simmer for 2 1/2 - 3hrs in a stock.

I used the Poll Dorset breed of lambs for this recipe recently and they offered a nice flavour to the haggis, one that was not overpowering.

Just one more thing, don’t forget the “tatties and neeps”!!

Well, what would you do with yours?

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