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How to cook authentic Haggis with Tatties and Neeps
Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and is a meal prepared from boiled sheep offal (the organ meat and intestines, also known in America as the chitlins) boiled in a casing made of either all-natural material or artificial. It is traditionally served with Tatties (potatoes) and Neeps (rutabagas). The following recipe is a simple but authentic Haggis recipe, easy for a first-time Haggis cook to follow. Despite the likelihood of an after-preparation chitlins smell remaining in your kitchen for some hours, it is a very tasty dish.
Approximate Cooking Time
- 2 ½ lbs-4lbs sheep offal (chitlins), in casing
- 2 lbs white potatoes, chopped
- 1 ½ lbs rutabagas*, chopped
- 2 tablespoons nutmeg, finely grated
- 4 tablespoons butter, real butter, not margarine or oleo
- 4 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon parsley, washed and diced finely
* regular hardy turnips can be substituted for rutabagas if preferred. The use of rutabagas is more in keeping with authentic Haggis cooking and I prefer its cabbage-like flavor over turnips, which sometimes can taste a little acrid.
- Place casing with haggis in large pot along with clean cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour per 2 lbs of offal. IMPORTANT: do not allow the water to reach a boil more than once! A second boil can give the offal a spongy, undesirable texture.
- While haggis is simmering place the potatoes and rutabagas in individual saucepans with clean water
- For the Tatties (potatoes): Bring to boil, reduce and simmer until tender. Now drain your tatties and put to the side. Melt the butter and warm the milk. Add half your milk and half the butter to pot you cooked your potatoes in. Now add the cooked tatties with salt and pepper and mash and stir until creamy.
- For the Neeps (rutabagas): Boil exactly as you did the potatoes and when finished add the second half of butter and milk and mash until creamy.
When the Haggis in casing is finished boiling remove from pot and place on a large plate. Cut open casing with a knife and remove the Haggis (meats) you cooked. Sprinkle with the nutmeg, rosemary and thyme. Place on serving dish alongside the Tatties and Neeps. Top all with grated parsley and serve.
Open windows of kitchen, depart house to yard, veranda, back porch or other area of fresh air, taking with you a pint of whiskey, glasses and your guests. Pour whiskey into glasses. Toast to the health of your guests and if you neglected to hand out surgical masks prior to serving them dinner, apologize profusely. And remember, the more dessert drink is served the easier your guests can be convinced that the horrid smell they caught wafting out of your kitchen came from a dead opossum in the basement.
Time to air out lingering Haggis odor in kitchen: 20 minutes-2 days, depending on how many open windows you have.