What Is Haggis Like?

We like to think of ourselves as an adventurous eaters. We'll try anything just once regardless of what it is. With Burns Night on the way it seemed like the perfect time to try haggis for the very first time.

Haggis

ROBERT BURNS AND HAGGIS

Even though it dates back to way before his time, haggis was immortalised by Robert Burns in his 1786 poem Address to a Haggis and is now a traditional food to eat when celebrating the Scottish bard on Burns Night.

But as off cuts and cheap cuts of meat are becoming more and more popular, people are warming to haggis and eating it more regularly rather than a one off treat every Burns Night.

WHAT IS HAGGIS?

Haggis is an ancient peasant dish made with edible offal chopped with cereal and herbs stuffed inside the animal's stomach before cooking. It is traditionally served with neeps and tatties - that's turnips and potatoes.

The Macsween one is made with lamb offal, beef fat, oatmeal, water, onion, salt, pepper and spices.

HOW DO YOU COOK HAGGIS?

So it is kind of weird when you unwrap the haggis and think about handling a real life stomach but it soon passes when you're hungry and excited about trying something new.

So here's what you do. Unwrap the haggis from the plastic wrapper, cover in foil and then place in a baking tray with 2cm water. Place in the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. Easy.

WHAT DOES HAGGIS TASTE LIKE?

When it's cooked, you simply cut it into wedges or halves and remove the stomach lining. We served our haggis with a twist on the traditional sides, 'snips and sweet tatties - that's mashed parsnips and sweet potatoes. We were pleasantly surprised with the haggis. It has the consistency of a stuffing, tasted very meaty but not at all fatty and had lots and lots of pepper - just how I like it, with a bit of kick.

HAGGIS RECIPES

This shouldn't be a once a year treat. You could imagine adding it to your shopping trolley every now and then as there are many more recipes to discover... there's haggis sausages, haggis scotch egg, haggis roulade and haggis cakes. The opportunities are endless.