As I look forward to the weekend, I have thoughts of the Highland Games Festival, Scottish and Irish beer, and my yearly fix of haggis. The first time I saw haggis I asked how was it cooked and a friend told me that it is a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs chopped and mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt blended with stock and stuffed inside a sheep’s stomach. The ends of the stomach are tied and the stomach is then cooked in a pot of boiling water until done.
My first words were “nope, I am not trying it; it does not sound good to me”. I was going to pass until I was reminded of living in the south and eating chitlins’ (thoroughly cleaned and cooked). I realized that if I could eat chitlins’ I could definitely try haggis. I had haggis the traditional way on Burns Night with Neeps and Tatties (Turnips and potatoes) and I was hooked! The haggis, neeps and tatties were excellent and the added bonus was the wee dram of scotch whiskey that followed the meal. The flavor of the scotch was able to cut through the richness of haggis and I had a few more drams for good measure.
When you try haggis for the first time, I suggest that you take it easy as the organ meats are very rich in flavor and body. If you overdo it, the haggis will feel like a brick in your stomach so relish it but moderation is the key. When you buy a haggis, you want to get a good quality one so talk to your butcher to get some recommendations.
Now I have a craving for haggis and I am very happy that the festival is coming up pretty quickly. I recommend that you locate the food truck that has haggis and get it first thing upon arriving at the festival because they usually sell out of it quite quickly. However, if you are unlucky in your hunt for haggis you will just have to hunt down the whiskey tasting tent and get your wee dram of scotch whiskey to wash away the disappointment!!
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