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DaveJes1979

Posh or modern haggis preparation

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Egullet folks,

Is there perhaps a more modern or posh way to present haggis than just lumping it onto a plate with neeps and tatties? I love haggis, and gobble the stuff up whenever I'm in Scotland, but I never thought the neeps and tatties did much to complement it, even though that's the classic dish. I know that might sound like sacrilege.

I'm not even sure where to start, the only thing I could brainstorm on my own was to perhaps make a Scotch whisky sauce of some sort to go with it.

The haggis I am using is frozen, and I'm going to try cooking it by simply re-heating it in my sous vide machine. I got it from scottishgourmetusa.com, which is reputed to be the best haggis made in the U.S. It is lamb-based, although because of U.S. food laws they have substituted beef liver for the lung, which is not legal to sell. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm hoping my memory is good enough that I can compare it with the real stuff in Scotland from a few years back.

In Scotland I did run into haggis being used in a burger as well as in a lasagna, but I was thinking that I wanted the haggis to be more the star of the show rather than just a condiment or filling. And I can't help but feeling that there are more interesting and complementary side dishes than mashed potatoes and rutabaga.

This doesn't (necessarily) need to be a Michelin-star level of preparation, but a notch or two up from the normal pub dish is what I'm after.

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when I was in scotland I had a few upscale preparations of haggis, one of them was fried and served over a bed of lentils. I thought that this was a great way to have it.

I've also had it crisped up and served a la bangers and mash which I always liked especially with a whiskey gravy type sauce and caramelized onions.

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I've always thought haggis might make a good terrine in pastry that could then be sliced. But it might be too crumbly for that.


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Last year, i made a sauce for Haggis. I just sort of improvised it: butter in the pan, saute some onion (shallot might have been better), add some cream and a glug or two of whisky. Reduce it to desired consistency. I didn't bother to strain out the onion, but some may prefer it without them. Season with salt and, optionally, white or black pepper.

Do post back your opinion of the haggis btw. Some of the ones I have tried here have been a travesty. The one one the ScottishGourmetUSA website looks decent, so it would be great to get a first hand opinion of it.


Edited by greigm (log)

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I've made Jaeger Sos (Hunter's sauce) for haggis and it works well, though I'm racking my brains to think of an alternative to neeps & tatties.

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In Glasgow they serve it as haggis pakora - so in a batter of gram (chickpea) flour, oil, chillis, cumin and as much water as it takes. That opens it up to all manner of Indian accompaniments, from chutneys through cachumbers and on to raw or cooked veg.

Living in Japan, I've noticed there's a crossover between the use of rutabaga and the use of daikon (mooli in Indian shops) - so, deep frying again, there's haggis tempura with grated daikon. The haggis is salty, so dress the daikon with something like yuzu juice instead of/with soy.

Haggis itself should be spicy hot, but there's room to use it in pita bread or on tortillas with a milder salsa (OK, hot if you want to double up), and the usual salad-type accompaniments.

Haggis is crumbly and won't normally hold together, but (to repeat what i said in beyond the roasted leg), you can of course make it into crepinettes with some caul fat, giving it a new skin that's edible. Or stuff it into sausage casings for the same effect, which opens up all the possibilities in sausage dishes.

Having just roasted a shoulder of lamb. I'm now enjoying a shepherd's pie with some of the roast meat, shredded. Mine is home-nostalgia food with a layer of tinned baked beans and a mashed potato topping. OK, I confess, my mash this time has cabbage in it so it's colcannon - if you want other variations, search for 'stamppot' and the Iish 'champ'. The beans can be replaced with more sophisticated home-cooked veg combinations - peas, carrots, green beans, onions are traditional. Haggis is lamb, so why not the Shepherd's Other Pie ? With its pepperiness I even think haggis would stand up to a tomato-based middle layer.

Above all, whwther you re-skin it or not, I reckon you want to think 'sausage', with an awareness of how comparatively fatty your haggis is - isn't there sausage in paella and pasta sauces and breakfast and... ?

Traditional Scottish dishes that are recognisably Scotland-specific are limited in number - Scottish food, like British food, has been under the influence of the European mainstream (read: French) for hundreds of years. Would you take Mexican food away from America ? If you're looking to 'gussy haggis up' look to the French canon - at the level you're aiming for, maybe you can work out some twists on bistro & brasserie standards ?


Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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When I lived in Glasgow, had it wrapped in wonton skin and (you guessed it) deep fried with a chilli & whisky dipping sauce.

The chef had figured there wasn't enough fat in the orginal version.


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Haggis gyoza. Haggis ravioli.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Thanks for all the ideas.

I'm still stewing over the issue in my mind. I could go in a "sweet" direction with it, and maybe do something like a honey-based sauce, with maybe a dash of nutmeg. Or another thought is that I could try doing something with cheese.

The sweetness imparted by corn (straight from a can) might be something to work with, perhaps some creamed corn even. I might also play around with onions and mushrooms since, well, they tend to elevate almost any savory dish.

I think the mashed potatoes may not be so bad a complement, although I'd want to amp it up with some garlic and parmesan.


Edited by DaveJes1979 (log)

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Been thinking on this myself lately. From the British butchers I picked up some slices (he sells slices and whole haggis). I want to serve bite-size morsels to people who mostly haven't tried it before--the idea is to make it accessible but not take away from what haggis is. Kicking around the idea of deep-fried haggis as a sort of fast food thing, I eventually settled on a sort of cheeseburger. I'm thinking a little skewer with a cube of toasted bread, a dried tomato (like the ones in Heston at Home--I want to get the ketuchuppy sort of flavour but not have any liquid), a cube of the haggis w/ melted cheddar and ... I want something 'fresh' to cut through that. A little bit of white onion, maybe?


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a decent restuarant in Edinburgh has a nice haggis starter that I have managed to cobble together at home. Form the haggis into patties, dip in egg and coat in pinhead oatmeal, fry. serve with a whiskey ceam and leek sauce.

Or you can do chicken balmoral, chicken breast stuffed with haggis, pan fried and served with a whiskey cream sauce and vegies of your choice, butter fondant potatoes goes well imho.

google chicken balmoral there are loads of recipes out there for it with the whiskey sauce.

Tom

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Seems to me it's a stodge or soft-with-soft-with-soft problem. In other words, the traditional accompaniments are too much like the main dish, especially in texture. So, what I'd do is mix that up. Say, brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes (rather than mashed).

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You can actually buy a Haggis Sauce now here made at Moniack Castle and it is a sweet sauce with whisky, a little like a Cumberland sauce. I always serve my Haggis with a Cumberland sauce made with Whisky instead of Port and it seems to go down well. In the past we have served a Haggis and black pudding stack on bitter leaves topped with a grain mustard, Redcurrant cream sauce - was one of the best sellers.

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If you thaw the haggis you can mix it with some binder (fat, activa, etc.) and then refrigerate it in small square or cylinder molds to make a more modern presentation.

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