Haggis has been on my list of things to try for what seems like an age. Every Burns Night (25th January) I tell myself to remember to buy one and eat it with all the pomp and ceremony you would find in Scotland.
Unfortunately I have a memory like a sieve these days, so it is easily forgotten as a good idea that will never come to pass. But there is always next year. But after some shopping on Oxford Street, we ended up in Selfridges to buy some meat at O'Shea's, and lo and behold what do we see. Haggis. The temptation is too great. So we forgot about the meat we were going to buy and run out with a small haggis to try.
The Haggis's that O'Shea's sell are not their own. They are MacSween Haggis. A company based in Edinburgh. So the real deal no. Looking at the list of ingredients on the back. It really is not a lot. Lamb offal, beef, oatmeal and onions, plus some spices and seasoning. No E numbers. Unreal. The casing is natural as well. Even better.
To cook the haggis you can either pop it in a microwave (?) for 6 minutes, or if you do not have one, as I don't, then you wrap it in foil and cook in a baking tray filled with water at gas mark 4 for about an hour or so. That is it. Pretty simple. It does however have an unusual smell to it, but I think that is just the spices. Well I hope it is.
We were going to go all out and have it with all the traditional trimmings, but as I mentioned my memory is failing me these days. So we forgot to buy the swede or turnips. We did have some potatoes in the house, so at least we had part of the meal.
After cooking it does look a tad bland. All very grey, dull. Thankfully the taste is anything but. So after cutting open the haggis the filling oozes out and we spoon it onto our plates.
Yes, the taste is anything but bland. It reminded me of black pudding but with out the blood. Nice textures due the the oatmeal and the small bits of offal. Yum yum. It does need a tad of seasoning but I love the hit of black pepper these days.
Unfortunately we never read out Burn's poem or had a piper playing Scotland the Brave for us, but it was a pretty good meal. All for around £5 for 2 or 3 servings. We did see some in Borough Market for about £10 (I think) and serving about 6 - 8. These may be nice to try as they were definitely homemade.
The Haggis is for sure not everyones cup of tea, and if we were to have it again with friends, I would have to pick them very wisely.