How to Boil a Bonnie Wee Haggis


For many it conjures a profound sense of Scottish pride and the desire to trace one’s ancestory. For others, revulsion.

It’s time to get over our aversions and appreciate what a unique and delicious dish it can be.

The haggis of yore was indeed sheep’s stomach stuffed with a mixture of herbs, spices, onions and offal.

Today, they are a much more timid beast. An artificial casing contains top quality ground meats (just as often pork and beef as lamb), onions and oats spiced with pepper, cloves, nutmeg and mace.

It’s essentially a big ol sausage. As such, it does present some cooking conundrums. It’s huge. So how, and in what do you cook it?

I’ve experimented with many methods over the years, but by far the traditional boil is best.

There are even many approaches to this seemingly simple method, several of which (in my experience) result in the splitting of the skin (a murdert haggis). I’ve outlined the safest approach below.

Start with a top quality haggis. In Winnipeg, it’s readily available at Molly’s Meat Pies, but I’ve also seen it offered at Stephen & Andrews (GJ Andrews).

  1. Chances are, your haggis will be frozen. You should thaw your haggis thoroughly in the refrigerator. It may take up to two days.
  2. Place thawed haggis in bottom of a soup kettle or deep saucepan and cover with enough cold water to cover.
  3. Over medium-high heat, bring haggis to a gentle boil, and immediately reduce heat.
  4. Cover and simmer until cooked, about 40 mins. per lb.
  5. Remove haggis and place in a deep plate or platter. When cut it will loose a considerable amount of juice.
  6. Optionally soak with Scotch. Scoop out, and serve with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes).

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