Skip to comments.Address To A Haggis
Posted on 01/25/2003 5:17:35 AM PST by Clive
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding- race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis- fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
Like taps o' trissle.
Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!
Twice for me as well, and I confess I rather liked it. Both times it was at an elaborate Scottish dinner, and was preceded my a rather extensive tasting of single malts, so I'm sure that made me somewhat more receptive to... well, anything. I wouldn't care to make a meal of it, but as a first course (followed by Scottish salmon, Scottish lamb, and plenty of Bordeaux), it was enjoyable.
The haggis was, of course, "piped in," that is, presented to the accompanyment of screeching bagpipes, and cut with a sabre as I recall. The presentation was more dramatic than the taste which was, truth to tell, rather bland, but pleasant. The closest approximation I can come up with is 50% paté, 30% finely ground chicken breast, and 20% oatmeal. It coulda used a squirt of Tabasco.
Here's one for you and your chain of Haggis Huts.
And here's one for us all:
Leeze me on drink! it gives us mair
Than either school or college;
It ken'les wit, it waukens lear,
It pangs us fou o' knowledge.
Every October, I make a trek to my hometown of Bethlehem, PA to attend the Celtic Classic. The first thing I do is go and eat a plate of haggis. The second thing I do is go and eat another plate of haggis. I don't know how authentic it is, but it's wonderful stuff.
For Christmas, my mother gave me a knitted cap that says "haggis head" on it.
Once, in Scotland of all places.
If you want to enjoy your haggis, do not enquire into the nature of the ingredients. If you know the recipe, think of something else whilst you eat.
Make mine Danone H.P. Sauce. If I want to go hot, I might go with El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Kutbil-ik, but it's best not to overpower the flavors of the haggis.
I'm of Scottish descent, and you couldn't pay me enough.
When he realised, he ran down to the vehicle, but it was too late. Someone had thrown a second set in there."
LOL!!!!! I haven't the foggiest idea why, but this reminded me of my favorite line that an ex-pastor of ours used to use:
"Definition of an optimist: An accordion player with a pager."
Aye, but then the same could be said of stew, chili, veg. soup, and sauage. Like that old saying goes: "He who likes sausage and the law should never watch either of them being made."
Now where's the fun in that? Here's a recipe which seems rather authentic:
Obtain the large stomach bag of a sheep, also one of the smaller bags called the king's hood, together with the "pluck" which is the lights (lungs), the liver and the heart. The bags take a great deal of washing. They must be washed first in running cold water, then plunged into boiling water and after that, they must be scraped. Take great care of the bag which is to be filled for if it is damaged it is useless. When you are satisfied it is as clean as you can make it, let it soak in cold salted water overnight. The pluck must also be thoroughly washed; you cook it along with the little bag.
Boil the pluck and the little bag in a large pot with plenty of water, [here comes my very favorite part of the recipe...](leaving the windpipe hanging over the side of the pot as this allows impurities to pass out freely) for about an hour and a half before removing it from the pot and allowing it to cool. Reserve the cooking liquid for later use.
When cold, start preparing the filling by cutting away the windpipe and any gristle and skin. Use only a third of the liver and grate it, then mince the heart, the lights, and the little bag. It may be that you find that the heart and the king's hood are not boiled enough in the hour and a half, and if so, put them back in the pot and boil until tender.
Chop finely one-half pound of beef suet. Toast three handfuls of oatmeal (finely ground oats, or rolled oats; not the "instant" or "quick cooking" oats) on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Then mix all the ingredients - minced lights, grated liver, minced heart, minced king's hood, suet, oatmeal, salt and a good shaking of black pepper. Make this into a soft consistency with the water in which the pluck etc. was boiled.
Place into the stomach bag. Fill only a little over half full as the mixture swells. Sew up the bag with strong thread and the haggis is now ready for cooking.
Use a pot which will easily hold the haggis, and place a plate or trivet in the bottom of the pan. Place the haggis on the trivet, and add water to almost cover the haggis. Bring the water to a boil, and keep it boiling steadily for three hours, pricking occasionally to allow air to escape.
The haggis should be served on a platter without garnish or sauce.
From "Traditional Scots Recipes" by Janet Murray.
As brewcrew pointed out above, the sale of sheep lungs is illegal in the United States (there must be a logical reason for this; our Federal Government would never be arbitrary, would it?), so you'll have to depend on the kindness of any friends you have who happen to be shepherds, if you want the real thing.
Mmmmm....scrapple. It tastes as good as it sounds.
I went in to tell my husband (who is of Scottish descent and loves the pipes) and as I said the last line I watched his face...... it took a brief few seconds for the punch line to hit him....... it was great watching him realize it....lol
Find the Haggis an' win prizes!
By perverse coincidence, the sound the haggis is most sensitive to is that of plaid rubbing on underpants. No-one knows why this should be, perhaps this almost undetectable noise mimics exactly the sound of a golden eagle plummeting towards its target. Whatever the reason, the aim of a haggis hunter who sports underwear will never be true. Hence, the tradition that true Scots wear nothing under their kilt.
For awhile, KFC's in the south were selling fried chicken livers and gizzards. I don't know if they still are. I'm waiting for a fast food Scrapple joint.
Haggis is gefilte sheep.
Correctin' your grammar, laddie: It cou'd hae a wee bit o' Tabasco.
That is hilarious. I can see a bumper sticker now.."Hunk if you're hongry".
Haggis, its not just for breakfast anymore.
Kilt, n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.
I've always suspected haggis was treated similarly -- sort of an inside joke for the benefit of the tourists. For all its bizarre ingredients and difficult preparation, the finished product (at least in my experience, and I've had only the presumably lung-less American variety) is blandly inoffensive.
As far as hunting the little critters is concerned, I assume these are the Scottish equivalents of snipes?
"Get your Haggis right here! Chopped heart and lungs boiled in a wee sheep's stomach! Tastes as good as it sounds."
As far as masking the hunters smell is concerned, there is only one substance that can hide the multifarious odours of a haggiser: whisky. Preferable, the hunter should be absolutely drenched in the stuff to mask any scent. Manys the ignorant laird who has given his gamekeeper a tongue-lashing for smelling of alcohol and then had to issue a cringeing apology after learning this bit of haggis lore.
Finally, the haggis hunter must make himself invisible to his prey. Much like the Tyrannosaurus Rex a creature to which it is not often compared the haggis has eyes that react most effectively to movement, but only movement in a straight line. In order to creep up on their prey, haggis hunters must disguise their approach by adopting a shambling, apparently random gait. This is known as havering.
Thus, if you encounter a Scot stinking of whisky, shuffling down the street in an ungainly fashion with their kilt flapping round their bare backside you know they are only hunting the haggis. To show that you are au fait with the hunt, approach him (or her) and say in a loud voice: Ach, your havering. A lively discussion should ensue.
I note with approval the correct spelling of whisky, which has no e. I'm having a wee dram of MacAllen at present; any typos, accordingly, are not my fault.