Thursday, January 26, 2012

Haggis: ach, aye laddie!

I am not Scottish, nor do I have any but extremely distant ancestors who were remotely Scottish.  However, I somehow felt obligated to buy a haggis for Robbie Burns day.  I've had haggis before - in Scotland, no less - as part of a "full Scottish breakfast" at a B&B.  I recalled liking it, but I couldn't exactly remember what it was like.

So, I picked up a haggis from the Oak Bay Butcher (and no, you don't get a discount for ordering with a Scottish accent and I don't think Mike really appreciated being called "laddie") and prepared it as wee Mike advised, by steaming it for about 45 minutes.  The sheep stomach part of it bailed out of the whole deal and I was left with a vaguely stomach-shaped ball of meaty goo that smelled like someone's moldy old sofa.

Despite the unappetizing appearance, I'd already prepared the neeps & tatties so onto the plate it all went.  And you know what? It was delicious.  The texture was reminiscent of cotechino - that faintly gluey texture that's oddly satisfying.  I could totally see how if you were out on the moors all day, chasing sheep around in the rain, and you came home to a steaming plate of haggis, you would think it was the best stuff in the world (and not just for the revenge-on-the-sheep facet of it, either.) 

My tummy wasn't too happy with me afterwards - the significant oatmeal component of the haggis not being very Sarah-friendly - but haggis is a once-a-year food and dammit, I'm going to enjoy it.  I'm gonna slice me some leftover bits on Saturday and have a full Scottish breakfast, aye.


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