While this traditional Scottish dish doesn't appeal to all, it does evoke strong emotion from those who love it. The sheep's pluck is also known as 'liver and lights', 'lights' meaning heart and lungs. If you can't find sheep's lungs, the liver and heart will still provide the makings for a great haggis.
- 1 sheep 's pluck (liver, heart and lungs)
- 10 large red onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 tbsp cooking salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp Jamaican allspice
- 400 g stone-milled oats
- 400 g steel-cut oats
- beef dripping, for brushing
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 2 hours
Wash the offal in cold water and place in large saucepan with enough cold water to cover well. Add the red onions, the cooking salt and spices. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 ¾ hours. During this time, place the stone-milled oats and the steel-cut oats onto a baking tray, roast to a good nutty brown and put aside.
Take the boiled pluck off the stove and allow to cool. Lift out the pluck and the onions and place on a large tray, reserving the cooking liquid (bree). Remove and discard all sinew and unwanted debris from the offal. Using a mincer fitted with the coarse grinding attachment, grind the offal and onions and place in a bowl. Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to make a sloppy mix. Add the toasted oats, mix well and taste for seasoning which should be sharp and spiky.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12 cm-deep casserole with beef dripping, add the haggis and press down evenly. Brush all over with dripping and bake on the middle shelf for 1-1.5 hours.
To make a Ceremonial haggis, you will require a sheep's paunch. Soak the paunch in strong brine for 3 days, wash well in cold water, scrape well with a small knife washing constantly. It should now resemble clean, pink, creamy skin. Sew up all slits and holes leaving one reasonable opening, scald for 30 seconds in boiling water, cool in cold water, shake dry and now fill to four-fifths with the meat. Sew up the opening leaving a good length of the string for handling. Place into a good size pot, cover well with water, bring to boil, reduce heat, cook for 2 hours at a medium simmer. Do not allow to boil, it may split the paunch and do not cover the pot while cooking. To de-pot the Haggis, tip the pot carefully to run off most of the water, then gently slide the Haggis out onto a deep sided tray. When cooled slightly remove to the serving tray.
The Royal Haggis uses meat from venison shoulder joint, heart and liver, and the condiments and meal are the same as for the Highland Haggis and cooked in either the paunch (Ceremonial) or tray (pot) as above.