How to Cook Haggis and Some Recipes to Try

A haggis and Scottish cheddar cheese toastie is just one of the slighly unorthodox but delicious haggis recipes found on this page
A haggis and Scottish cheddar cheese toastie is just one of the slighly unorthodox but delicious haggis recipes found on this page

Haggis is a curious food in so many ways. It must surely be responsible for spawning more myths and creating more misunderstandings than any other food product on Planet Earth. So what is it about haggis that makes it so mysterious and confusing? What actually is a haggis? How is haggis made? How is haggis cooked and how is it served?

This page will not only introduce you to the truths behind the haggis myths, it will suggest to you some ideas for serving haggis that you may never have contemplated before - even if you do happen to be Scottish!

How Much Do You Know About Haggis?

Before looking at the facts surrounding haggis and some tasty recipe suggestions, why not take the quick, fun quiz immediately below to see how much you already know about haggis?

What is Haggis and How is it Made?

It makes sense to begin by looking at what haggis is and - perhaps more significantly - what it most certainly is not. The short video below looks at the ingredients in haggis, how they are combined and how haggis is initially cooked at its time of production.

Video Showing How Haggis is Made

Food Terms Used on this Page Interpreted/Explained

There are some foods referred to on this page where the popular name employed differs not only on opposite sides of the Atlantic but within the United Kingdom. The brief guide below may not be exhaustive and account for all potential regional variations but it will hopefully help to eliminate at least some possible confusion.

Scotland
Wider United Kingdom
North America
Haggis
Haggis
Haggis
Potatoes/tatties/totties
Potatoes
Potatoes
Turnip/neeps
Swede turnip/Swede
Rutabaga
Mangetout
Mangetout
Snow pea
Clapshot
Mashed potatoes and Swede turnip with chives
Mashed potatoes and rutabaga with chives
Lorne sausage/sliced sausage/square sausage
No equivalent
No equivalent
Black pudding
Black pudding
Blood pudding/blood sausage

Haggis, Tatties and Neeps Pie with Sweetcorn and Mangetout

Haggis, tatties and neeps puff pastry pie with simple vegetable accompaniments
Haggis, tatties and neeps puff pastry pie with simple vegetable accompaniments

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 40 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
  • Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 medium Swede turnip/rutabaga, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 pound haggis meat
  • 1/2 pound pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 8 (or as required) baby sweetcorn ears
  • 12 (or as required) mangetout/snow peas
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Haggis, tattie and neepParboiling tatties and neepsHaggis, tatties and neeps pie fillingLaying pastry on haggis, tatties and neeps piePie pastry is trimmedHaggis, tatties and neeps pie ready for the ovenHaggis, tatties and neeps pie is restedBlanching sweetcorn and mangetoutPortioning haggis, tatties and neeps pieServing haggis, tatties and neeps pie
Haggis, tattie and neep
Haggis, tattie and neep
Parboiling tatties and neeps
Parboiling tatties and neeps
Haggis, tatties and neeps pie filling
Haggis, tatties and neeps pie filling
Laying pastry on haggis, tatties and neeps pie
Laying pastry on haggis, tatties and neeps pie
Pie pastry is trimmed
Pie pastry is trimmed
Haggis, tatties and neeps pie ready for the oven
Haggis, tatties and neeps pie ready for the oven
Haggis, tatties and neeps pie is rested
Haggis, tatties and neeps pie is rested
Blanching sweetcorn and mangetout
Blanching sweetcorn and mangetout
Portioning haggis, tatties and neeps pie
Portioning haggis, tatties and neeps pie
Serving haggis, tatties and neeps pie
Serving haggis, tatties and neeps pie
  1. Put the chopped potato and turnip in to a pot of lightly salted cold water. Bring to a simmer for ten minutes to parboil them only. Drain, return to the empty pot, cover and leave to cool for half an hour.
  2. Start your oven preheating to 200C/400F. Break the haggis in to bite sized pieces and carefully combine with the tatties and neeps. Lay in the base of a suitable pie dish and add two or three tablespoons of cold water, just to keep everything moist as it cooks. Scatter with the chopped chives and season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Lay the pastry over the top of the dish and crimp. Trim the edges with a very sharp knife.
  4. Lay the pie on an oven tray and glaze with the beaten egg. Cut a "+" shaped steam vent in the centre. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden.
  5. Take the pie from the oven and set aside to rest on a heatproof surface for ten minutes.
  6. Add the sweetcorn and mangetout to a pot of simmering, salted water. Blanche for 3 or 4 minutes and drain.
  7. Cut the pie pastry in half and lift to a holding plate. Using a slotted spoon, divide the filling between two serving plates. Lay a piece of pastry on top of each filling portion and finish plating with the sweetcorn and mangetout.

The Address to the Haggis

Burns' Suppers take place in Scotland and in many other parts of the world on or near January 25th each year in honour of the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns in 1759. One traditional feature of Burns' Suppers is that the haggis will be piped in to the room, carried usually by the chef, before being addressed by a celebrated guest in the traditional fashion. The quality of the address given to the haggis varies hugely, even though the script was written long ago and only requires following. If you want to see a quality and traditional address given to the haggis, take a look at the video below.

Should I Add Malt Whisky to Haggis?

Haggis, tatties and neeps with pea puree and whisky
Haggis, tatties and neeps with pea puree and whisky | Source

There are few people in Scotland who will dispute how well a healthy dram of single malt whisky complements a serving of haggis. When it comes to whether whisky should actually be incorporated in the haggis, however - or in a sauce to accompany the haggis - you will encounter two very different schools of opinion.

Some people will serve haggis with a whisky based cream sauce, stir whisky through the haggis before it is served, or simply drizzle whisky over the haggis on the plate. On the other hand, single malt whisky connoisseurs may very well ridicule or scorn this procedure as a waste of good whisky.

The bottom line is that there can be no right or wrong answer but if you are attending a formal Burns' Supper or similar and are considering adding whisky to your haggis, it may be better to very subtly canvas opinion at the table before making a potentially offensive mistake.

The safe option? Serve your haggis with a glass of malt whisky and enjoy it as a separate accompaniment to your meal.

Cream of Haggis and Clapshot Soup Recipe

Haggis, tatties and neeps are incorporated in a creamy soup
Haggis, tatties and neeps are incorporated in a creamy soup

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 40 min

Yields: Four to six servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • ½ medium Swede turnip/rutabaga
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ lb haggis meat
  • ½ pint double/heavy cream
  • Chopped chives to garnish
  • Oatcakes or bread to serve

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Haggis, tatties and neeps for soupChopped tatties and neepsChicken stock is added to tatties and neepsPreparing to mash tatties and neepsHaggis is added to the mashed tatties and neepsCream is added to the clapshot soupCream of haggis and clapshot soup is ready to serveCream of haggis and clapshot soup with oatcakes
Haggis, tatties and neeps for soup
Haggis, tatties and neeps for soup
Chopped tatties and neeps
Chopped tatties and neeps
Chicken stock is added to tatties and neeps
Chicken stock is added to tatties and neeps
Preparing to mash tatties and neeps
Preparing to mash tatties and neeps
Haggis is added to the mashed tatties and neeps
Haggis is added to the mashed tatties and neeps
Cream is added to the clapshot soup
Cream is added to the clapshot soup
Cream of haggis and clapshot soup is ready to serve
Cream of haggis and clapshot soup is ready to serve
Cream of haggis and clapshot soup with oatcakes
Cream of haggis and clapshot soup with oatcakes
  1. Peel and roughly chop the potatoes and turnip. Add them to a large soup pot with the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. If necessary, add enough water just to ensure the pieces are all covered and no more.
  2. Put the pot on a high heat until the stock starts to simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato and turnip pieces are just softened.
  3. Lift the pot to a chopping board on a stable surface. Use a hand masher to mash the vegetable pieces. Do not blend the soup - you want a rustic mash, not a puree.
  4. Break the haggis in to small pieces and add it to the soup. Don't worry about even sizes as the haggis will break up naturally during cooking. Return the pot to the heat and bring back to a simmer.
  5. Pour in the cream, stir well and bring back to a gentle simmer for ten more minutes.
  6. Ladle the soup in to serving bowls and garnish with the chopped chives. Serve with the oatcakes or bread of choice.

How Nutritious is Haggis?

It is clearly very difficult to define the nutritional value of haggis due to the huge number of different recipes employed in its preparation. The figures quoted below relate to MacSween's haggis, the type used thus far on this page.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 pound (454g)
Calories 1149
Calories from Fat612
% Daily Value *
Fat 68 g105%
Carbohydrates 86 g29%
Fiber 9 g36%
Protein 49 g98%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sliced Haggis Recipes

Haggis slices bought from a supermarket
Haggis slices bought from a supermarket

Sliced haggis such as that pictured above is not something you will ever encounter at a formal Burns' Supper - indeed, it is probably best not to even refer to this type of haggis at such an event if you want to retain any level of credibility! You will find it readily available, however, in Scottish supermarkets and some butchers' shops. It is most commonly eaten as part of a fry-up, either for breakfast or later in the day, and served with a number of other meal components.

The recipes below are for a few different suggested ways to serve sliced haggis.

All Day Scottish Breakfast

A mighty all day Scottish breakfast including haggis, black pudding, sausages, bacon, egg and more
A mighty all day Scottish breakfast including haggis, black pudding, sausages, bacon, egg and more

Haggis is something that you will occasionally find incorporated in a full Scottish breakfast but it couldn't really be considered a standard ingredient. This recipe is for an all day breakfast, designed to be eaten later in the day when appetites may be likely to be greater.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 25 min

Yields: One large all day Scottish breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 Lorne sausage
  • 2 beef or pork link sausages
  • 1 slice of haggis
  • 1 slice of black pudding
  • 2 rashers or medallions of back bacon
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 medium tomato, halved
  • 2 closed cup mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 2 tattie (potato) scones
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • HP Sauce (optional)

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Meat components of an all day Scottish breakfastPan frying sausages, black pudding and haggisTomato and mushrooms ready for fryingPan frying bacon medallions, tomato and mushroomsSausages, black pudding and haggis on a heated plateTattie scones are fried in meat juicesFrying the all day breakfast eggMeat and tattie scones are plated for all day Scottish breakfastBacon, tomato and mushrooms are added to the plateHp Sauce is an optional but delicious accompaniment to an all day Scottish breakfast
Meat components of an all day Scottish breakfast
Meat components of an all day Scottish breakfast
Pan frying sausages, black pudding and haggis
Pan frying sausages, black pudding and haggis
Tomato and mushrooms ready for frying
Tomato and mushrooms ready for frying
Pan frying bacon medallions, tomato and mushrooms
Pan frying bacon medallions, tomato and mushrooms
Sausages, black pudding and haggis on a heated plate
Sausages, black pudding and haggis on a heated plate
Tattie scones are fried in meat juices
Tattie scones are fried in meat juices
Frying the all day breakfast egg
Frying the all day breakfast egg
Meat and tattie scones are plated for all day Scottish breakfast
Meat and tattie scones are plated for all day Scottish breakfast
Bacon, tomato and mushrooms are added to the plate
Bacon, tomato and mushrooms are added to the plate
Hp Sauce is an optional but delicious accompaniment to an all day Scottish breakfast
Hp Sauce is an optional but delicious accompaniment to an all day Scottish breakfast
  1. Pour some vegetable oil in to a large, non-stick frying pan and add the link (traditionally shaped) sausages only. Cook very gently on as low a heat as possible for ten minutes, turning frequently.
  2. Slightly increase the heat and add the Lorne sausage, haggis and black pudding to the pan to fry for three to four minutes each side.
  3. Add more oil to a second pan and add the tomato (cut sides down) and the mushrooms (open sides up). After a few minutes, add the bacon to fry until done.
  4. Remove the sausages, haggis and black pudding to a heated plate and cover them with foil to keep them warm. Turn up the heat under the pan they have just vacated and fry the tattie scones for a minute or so each side.
  5. Wipe a small non-stick pan with oil and bring it up to a fairly high heat. Break the egg in to a small bowl before carefully pouring it in to the centre of the pan. Reduce the heat after a few seconds, once the egg has just started to set and you can see it will hold its shape. Fry until the albumen can be seen to have set all the way around the yolk.
  6. Plate the main meat components along with the tattie scones, followed by the bacon, mushrooms and tomato. Lay the egg on last of all and drizzle with the HP Sauce if required.

Where Can I Buy Fresh Haggis in the USA?

There are at present a number of international laws governing the shipment of meat based products from one country to another. Many of these laws do affect trade between the United Kingdom and the United States/Canada. This means that many Americans - particularly those of Scottish descent - who would love to try haggis may think they are restricted to buying it in cans...

Important: The author has no connection with or knowledge of the company detailed below other than what is included on the website. The link is included for your information, convenience and personal perusal only.

Haggis and Scottish Cheddar Cheese Toasted Sandwich

Haggis and Scottish cheddar cheese incorporated in a simple toasted sandwich
Haggis and Scottish cheddar cheese incorporated in a simple toasted sandwich

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 30 min

Yields: One toasted sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 slice of haggis
  • 2oz Scottish cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Butter
  • ½ tomato, cut in to wedges to garnish
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pan frying a slice of haggisFried haggis slice is left to coolGrated Scottish cheddar cheeseButtered bread for toasted sandwichCooled haggis slice is laid on first slice of breadGrated cheddar cheese is scattered over haggisAssembled haggis and cheese sandwich ready for toastingHaggis and cheese toasted sandwich is readyHaggis and cheese toasted sandwich is trimmed for serviceTucking in to a haggis and cheeddar cheese toastie
Pan frying a slice of haggis
Pan frying a slice of haggis
Fried haggis slice is left to cool
Fried haggis slice is left to cool
Grated Scottish cheddar cheese
Grated Scottish cheddar cheese
Buttered bread for toasted sandwich
Buttered bread for toasted sandwich
Cooled haggis slice is laid on first slice of bread
Cooled haggis slice is laid on first slice of bread
Grated cheddar cheese is scattered over haggis
Grated cheddar cheese is scattered over haggis
Assembled haggis and cheese sandwich ready for toasting
Assembled haggis and cheese sandwich ready for toasting
Haggis and cheese toasted sandwich is ready
Haggis and cheese toasted sandwich is ready
Haggis and cheese toasted sandwich is trimmed for service
Haggis and cheese toasted sandwich is trimmed for service
Tucking in to a haggis and cheeddar cheese toastie
Tucking in to a haggis and cheeddar cheese toastie
  1. Pan fry the haggis slice in a little oil for about three minutes each side until just cooked. Lift to a plate and cover. Leave for ten minutes or so to cool.
  2. Put your sandwich toaster on to preheat. Lightly butter the two slices of bread on one side only.
  3. Lay the first slice of bread buttered side down on a toaster plate. Sit the haggis on top and scatter with the grated cheese.
  4. Place the second slice of bread on, buttered side up, and close the lid on your toaster.
  5. The time that the sandwich takes to cook will depend upon your sandwich toaster and how well you like it done. This sandwich was given five minutes.
  6. Lift the toasted sandwich to a chopping board with a spatula. Leave it for a few minutes to partly cool. This is really important with a cheese toasted sandwich as the molten cheese will be super hot.
  7. Trim the sandwich and cut in half. Plate with the tomato wedges and scatter with the freshly chopped parsley.

Haggis, Lorne Sausage and Tattie Scone Sandwich

Haggis is added to the traditional sandwich combination of Lorne sausage and tattie scone
Haggis is added to the traditional sandwich combination of Lorne sausage and tattie scone

A roll and sausage and tattie scone is a very popular breakfast or snack in Scotland. This is clearly a variation on that combination, incoporating a slice of haggis. Bread has also been used instead of a morning roll (bread roll) but a roll could be used if preferred.

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 min

Cook time: 7 or 8 min

Ready in: 10 min

Yields: One sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 Lorne/sliced sausage
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 slice of haggis
  • 1 tattie scone
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Butter for bread (optional)
  • Tomato ketchup (optional)

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pan frying haggis and Lorne sausageFried tattie scone is laid on one slice of breadLorne sausage is laid on tattie sconeKetchup is optional on a haggis, Lorne sausage and tattie scone sandwiuchSliced haggis, Lorne sausage and tattie scone sandwich
Pan frying haggis and Lorne sausage
Pan frying haggis and Lorne sausage
Fried tattie scone is laid on one slice of bread
Fried tattie scone is laid on one slice of bread
Lorne sausage is laid on tattie scone
Lorne sausage is laid on tattie scone
Ketchup is optional on a haggis, Lorne sausage and tattie scone sandwiuch
Ketchup is optional on a haggis, Lorne sausage and tattie scone sandwiuch
Sliced haggis, Lorne sausage and tattie scone sandwich
Sliced haggis, Lorne sausage and tattie scone sandwich
  1. Pour a little oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat.
  2. Start the sausage and haggis slice frying. Depending upon thickness, they should take three or four minutes on each side.
  3. Add the tattie scone for the last couple of minutes to fry for a minute on each side.
  4. If desired, butter the two slices of bread.
  5. Lay the tattie scone on one slice of bread. Top with the sausage, followed by the haggis. Drizzle with ketchup if you so choose.
  6. Place the second slice of bread on top and cut in half to serve.

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9 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Glad you like haggis, Sue and especially that you're going to give a couple of these ideas a go. I hope you enjoy them and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I've never actually heard of a haggis party, Craftytothe Core, unless of course you include Burns Suppers. Sounds interesting! Thanks for visiting.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Funny enough, I had friends that were from Scotland. I went to their annual haggis party and tried it there one time. Most people around where I'm from have not heard of it. I did not know there were so many ways it could be prepared!


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

I love Haggis served with mashed potatoes and swede. I am going to try it with the cheese toastie and the pie. Voted up and interesting, pinned and shared.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Seeker7 and thank you

To be honest with you, I didn't realise haggis could be used in so many ways until I started planning this Hub! :) These are just some of the options I came up with. The tattie scone and sausage sandwich was particularly delicious.

Strange that you like haggis and not most other meats but the texture is certainly different.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland

This was a great hub and I didn't realise that haggis could be used in so many ways - I love the tattie scone, square sausage and haggis combination, looks delicious!

Funny thing is I'm not really a big fan of eating meat, I just don't like the taste or the texture. But haggis I adore - especially the real stuff served up at a good Burns Supper!

Great hub and smashing recipes - voted up!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you, Katia. I hope you do get the opportunity to enjoy haggis someday. It's surprisingly tasty!


Katiadejuan profile image

Katiadejuan 3 years ago from London, UK

Really interesting hub. I never heard about Haggis before, but it sounds delicious. I think I'll give it a try some day. ^_^


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you NMLady and I hope you do get the opportunity to try haggis. It is very different from black pudding or similar creations due to the different spices used in the recipe - most of which individual producers keep top secret!


NMLady profile image

NMLady 3 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

This is SO interesting. Maybe someday I will try Haggis. I don't think I have ever been anywhere where it is served! (Probably was when I visited parts of GB but I did not know it...) We have Miners' pasties in the Upper Peninsula of the state of Mich. that are kinda similar...have tried those and while they were good the turnips were a bit heavy in the mix for me. Also, very sure no black/blood pudding was used in them.

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