I mentioned a while back that I visited Old County Meats and Deli in search of haggis. The trip was a big success. Not only did I find haggis, but loads sausage options, savory meat pies, and my first encounter with scotch eggs. While I did think about cooking up the haggis that day, it's already frozen state combined with my first scotch egg indulgence convinced me to tuck this away for another day.
Other than a few raised eyebrows, not much was said when I placed the haggis in the freezer. This should have been a sign as now a month after picking the haggis up, nobody seems interested in having a go at it. So it's all up to me.
I remember Todd saying, "put it in the oven at 350 until it's warm." So after an overnight thaw, I wrapped the haggis in tinfoil before putting it in the oven. The tinfoil was there for protection, as Todd also mentioned the intestine can blow out making making a mess of your oven.
30 minutes in and the house was starting to smell like...well like meat really. This had a Pavlov's dog affect on me so I prepped a plate some with English style pickled onions and pulled the haggis. I had no real temperature point to go to, so I had to open the package up and give a quick taste. Oh by open up the package, I mean go in through the hole that blew out the bottom. Unfortunately it wasn't warm yet, so it went back in for another 30 minutes before it was ready and I was left to battle my hunger by eating the onions. I suppose I could have prepared the traditional turnips and mash potato sides but that was too much work for a solo lunch.
The ingredients are pretty straight forward: beef, liver, heart, steel cut oats, onions, salt and spice. Right away I can understand the hesitation of eating offal, I mean you are eating hearts, livers, lungs etc..., but I promise this version of haggis would be a delicious way to start your journey into the off cuts. The texture is soft and very moist, think of a wetter meatloaf, with the steel cut oats being hard enough still to give a nice nutty structure. The spices do fill their role appropriately, but I promise you they aren't going to cover up the distinct taste differences these cuts of meat have. I'm quite impressed with the dish and it made for a hardy lunch. Hopefully I can convince the house it is a tasty meal, as I'll definitely be picking some more up.
I couldn't think of any sexy way to show haggis, so the pictures aren't that flattering!
* If anyone has any suggestions for some crazy or strange food they want me to try, just post a comment and I'll have a go.