I started this wrap-up of the Haggis/Robert Burns party on 1/26, a day after the party. Life interrupted and I didn't have a chance to finish it. So, here it is.
My apartment, still disarranged from the party last night, is quiet now. The guests are gone, the beer and Scotch consumed, and the dishes are done. Six quarts of leftover Haggis rest in the refrigerator.
The party was a blast and the haggis was delightful. It's rich and heavy. It was like a rough pate, with lamb gaminess and oats. It reminded me of a really intense version of my mother's chicken liver filling.
It looks unfortunately the color of a Weimaraner, liver-like, with flecks of oatmeal.
But at the party, we brought it to the table with all the flourishes; bagpipe music on Pandora, Manfriend Spike read, "Address to a Haggis" by Robert Burns, we toasted it with Scotch, and we ate it.
Of course I also had a small roast beef, horseradish sauce, boiled new potatoes, and pickled turnips.
Sources: The lamb innards came from Sudan Farms, a local lamb purveyor. I know Dan, one of the owners, from the Farmers Market. His products are good. One of the stomach's smelled funky so we tossed it.The one we used was about the size of a beach tote. Very large!
1 sheep's stomach
1 sheep's 'pluck' which, in our case, was liver, kidneys, heart and ground lamb. We doubled the recipe so we had two hearts, four kidneys, two livers, and two pounds ground lamb.
4 onions, medium dice (divided use)
2 ribs celery medium
4 Tbsp butter
2-1/4 cups steel cut, pinhead oats (looks like finely chopped oatmeal) lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes
6 ounces suet (we used olive oil, a little bit of bacon fat and some chicken schmaltz)
3 cups stock, either the offal cooking liquid or chicken stock
red pepper flakes
Day before: soak the stomach; 1/2 gallon water, two cups vinegar and 1/4 cup salt.
Saute the onions and ground lamb
Rinse the stomach carefully in cold water, turning inside out so the side that resembles terry cloth is on the inside.
Grind the innards.
Mix all ingredients. We used about 1 Tbsp allspice and a heaping teaspoon pepper flakes. Add enough of the pluck poaching liquid to moisten the mix. It should be almost runny.
Stuff the stomach, smooth side out, with the mix.
Boil for three hours.
* We thought searing the liver, rather than boiling it, would add freshness and texture. We were wrong and the extra steps -- searing the liver and chopping it -- were unnecessary.
Here's a cute story from the party. Someone asked me if Manfriend Spike ever reads this blog. He answered from accross the room, "Read it? Read it?? I live it!" Funny guy, that Spike.