"His knife see rustic Labour dicht, An' cut you up wi' ready slicht, Trenching your gushing entrails bricht, Like ony ditch; And then, O what a glorious sicht, Warm-reekin, rich!"
As you've probably gathered, tonight is Burns Night. Scots around the world gather to eat Haggis, tatties, and bashed neeps, and address the noble Haggis with ceremony and reverence. Actually, there's a good reason to eat Haggis all the year round, and it's perfect as a late night television snack. For those of you who claim not to like it, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Okay, it might sound- how can I put this- slightly gothic, but in reality it tastes a bit like a spicy meatloaf. Mind you, all that stuff about “trenching your gushing entrails bricht” doesn’t exactly help the cause.
The Macsweens brand is the Haggis of choice, but most brands share the following ingredients in common: the sheep’s “pluck” (heart, liver, and lungs), suet, spices, salt, and some form of oatmeal, all boiled up in a sheep’s stomach; though I reckon that most of the Haggis’s you buy at the supermarket have an artificial casing.
And then there’s the million dollar question of how to cook the thing. I favour wrapping it up in tin foil, and roasting it in the oven, though some aficionados like to simmer theirs in boiling water.
Eating it is simplicity itself: slice open the casing with a knife, and spoon out the moist, peppery meat onto your plate. It works beautifully with a peaty Single Malt such as Laphroaig (which if you've ever been to the Outer Hebrides, should remind you of the brown coloured loch water which comes straight from the tap). I like to pour this over my Haggis once it's cooked.