Monday, January 21, 2008

On bagpipers Burns, and haggis chefs

In the vein of all things Scottish since this week commemorates the birth of beloved Scottish poet, Robert Burns, here's a recipe for haggis. They will be serving it, as usual, at the Burns Night dinner this coming Saturday evening. As usual, I will not be eating it. As far as I know, eating haggis hasn't kilt anyone yet. But you never know. Anyway, I'm half German.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown on the television show Good Eats

1sheep stomach
1 sheep liver
1 sheep heart
1 sheep tongue
1/2 pound suet, minced
3 medium onions, minced
1/2 pound dry oats, toasted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried ground herbsRinse the stomach thoroughly and soak overnight in cold salted water.

Rinse the liver, heart, and tongue. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook these parts over medium heat for 2 hours. Remove and mince. Remove any gristle or skin and discard.

In a large bowl, combine the minced liver, heart, tongue, suet, onions, and toasted oats. Season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Moisten with some of the cooking water so the mixture binds. Remove the stomach from the cold salted water and fill 2/3 with the mixture. Sew or tie the stomach closed. Use a turning fork to pierce the stomach several times. This will prevent the haggis from bursting.

In a large pot of boiling water, gently place the filled stomach, being careful not to splash. Cook over high heat for 3 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes, if you serve it at all.

Okay, if you're still with me at this point, here's a video of pipe bands at the Orlando Scottish Games playing Scotland The Brave. As for me, I love the sound of bagpipes. It calls to my Celtic side, alternately bringing tears to my eyes and making me long for a sword and an enemy to bash. There was a reason why the kilted regiments with their pipers were called 'the ladies from Hell'.

Scotland forever!!

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