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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Haggis virgin makes haggis cakes.

In all my life I have never had haggis and so when I was looking for sausage meat for a customer on Tesco Beeston's aisle twenty and saw the enticingly packaged haggis by the Simon Howie Haggis Company, I was tempted to give it a go. I wondered if Harris the chorizo loving cat would be sticking his cat nose in during the cooking time. You never know with that cat.

Yesterday I was chatting to my friend Emma Brown about this. Emma is English but lives in Leiden in Holland and we worked together on a play last December and have remained good friends ever since. Emma is as passionate about food as I am and she suggested that I might try making haggis cakes - like fish cakes but with haggis.

The haggis itself takes the longest cooking time and requires wrapping in foil and placing in a deep pan of cold water which is brought to the boil and then the haggis simmers for seventy-five minutes.


During the haggis cooking process I peeled some sweet potatoes and parsnips for the mashed vegetables. The spinach was steamed last minute when all the other food was cooked.

"Did you say Harris or Haggis?"
To make the cakes I mashed the vegetables with a little butter, broke up the haggis (god it smelt good!) and mixed them all up in a mixing bowl. Then I added two raw eggs, blended them in the mix by hand and finally added some shop bought breadcrumbs bit by bit until the mixture was bordering on dry. The mix was then patted into individual haggis cakes using a light dusting of plain flour to keep them from sticking to my hands as I shaped them into roughly circular shapes. The mix made nine cakes and I froze six for the future. Harris the cat wasn't that fussed about trying the haggis after all and stretched out contentedly on the path in the sun.

The haggis cakes took about seven or eight minutes to lightly fry in a frying pan. Part of me was worried that they might break up on the final cook but they held their shape well. I ate them with steamed spinach, a tomato and chilli chutney and dressed them with a little Greek yoghurt and a few summer fruits nicked from my dessert - a refreshing collection summer fruits, lemon sorbet and apricot coulis.

The Simon Howie haggis was very nice indeed; a delicate peppery/spicy taste with subtle flavours of the oatmeal and barley combined the offal ingredients. Simon Howie's website is definitely worth checking out. Click HERE for this passionate Scottish family butcher. Now when is Burn's night exactly?

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