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Haggis Recipes

Disclaimer: This not your standard haggis. These are not, as it were, your mother's haggis.

Meatitarian Haggis Recipe

A traditional haggis recipe is something like "Take the left over bits of mutton you can't do anything else with, grind them up with a few onions and some oats, and stuff into the sheep's stomach. If you want to go crazy, add some black pepper. Boil."

This one is different. The key change is that the main form of cooking is frying - sauteing if you want to feel good about it. There's also much more flavour, in the form of apples (they sweeten and bring out the tastes) and sage (goes well with lamb.) Makes one big haggis, about 15 pounds. That's one *big* haggis.

Take 4 pounds of onions, slice and fry in a heavy frying pan, skillet, or wok until soggy and brown. Feel free to add a splash of red wine or balsalmic and a sprinkling of brown sugar to help it along. Take 4 pounds of ground lamb, and fry until the redness has gone away. Mix in about three pounds of coarsely chopped apple, about a full double-handful of chopped sage, and about two pounds of oatmeal. Add black pepper, and salt if you want.

Stuff into sausage skin and serve. See below for discussion of sausage skins.

Vegetarian Haggis Recipe

I have been told off in no uncertain terms before by those who consider vegetarian haggis to be a sin against man and god. My take on the matter is that if I've got thirty people coming to a Robbie Burns Night and half of them are vegetarian, they're not going to survive the whisky drinking on spuds and 'neeps alone. Also, my vegetarian haggis gets glowing reviews from the non-vegetarians as well.

Vegetarian Haggis Recipe #1: Moroccan Influences

Before we start, "Moroccan influences" is only a way for me to keep track of which is which. Any further discussion on this topic is henceforth prohibited.

Start by browning your onions: you want about three or four pounds, nice and brown. Chop up about half a head of garlic, and fry in oil, and add peeled and chopped fresh ginger -- a piece about a third the size of your hand. Well, my hand. I've got big hands. YMMV. Put into your skillet or wok and fry for a few minutes in oil. Take three large eggplants, wash and chop off the ends, and cut into slivers about the size of your fingers. Fry with the garlic and ginger until soft and brown, adding splashes of red wine, and then add about 3 pounds of chopped apples and a few pounds of oatmeal. When flavors are properly blended, stuff into vegetarian sausage skins: see below for sausage skin discussions.

Vegetarian Haggis Recipe #2: French Influences

As above; substitute portabella or similar mushrooms for the eggplants, and lose the ginger. Add a hefty amount of whole-seed Dijon mustard or Moutard de Meaux at the end and use white wine instead of red.

Sausage Skins

I use cellulose vegetarian sausage skins for my haggises (all of them, meaty too.) They come in sizes up to about 4" -- I use 4" or 3.5", depending on what's in stock. I've never seen them in stores: if you live in a big hunting area they might be avaliable, as they're used for making venison sausage. I have ordered mine on the internet and been perfectly satisfied. They cost about a dollar each, so you'll be paying more for shipping than the skins, so I generally get a few years worth at a time. They keep, unrefrigerated, probably for ever.