Today marks the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns (the legend that penned Auld Lang Syne) and although we’re Yorkshire through and through, we’re partial to a bit of haggis. We’re honouring Sir Burns’ birthday by making this great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race to celebrate the proper way. Any excuse for a knees-up and a wee dram of the good stuff.
Our haggises/haggii/wee yins are made by our Les, GP’s head baker at Grange Farm. Les begins by boiling pluck (lamb offal consisting of lung, liver and heart), then adds onions, lemon juice, mixed spices, beef suet or mutton meat and black pepper. The mixture is simmered for 3 ½ hours to allow the flavours to blend before popping into casings (sadly not the classic lamb stomach as the shelf life is very short), then allowed to cool.
Typically, haggis is simmered in its casing and served with neeps and tatties, but we’ve managed to come up with a couple of unconventional recipes to use with the leftovers (or if a plateful of offal is a bit much)…
Haggis stuffed chicken breasts
Here’s our recipe for chicken breasts stuffed with Scotland’s (or in our case, Yorkshire’s) finest. You can use fresh or leftover haggis, as it is already cooked when you buy it.
Serves 2 (heartily)
Two skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 banana shallot
1 clove garlic
1 thick slice of haggis, crumbled or roughly chopped
6 rashers of streaky bacon, rind removed.
- Heat the oven to 180°C.
- Start by butterflying the chicken breast. Lay it flat on your chopping board, plump-side up, and with a sharp knife cut in from the side so that you can open it up like a book. The little tenderloin (fillet) will probably come loose, but don’t worry as you can stuff it in the middle.
- Sauté the shallot and garlic in half of the butter until soft and sweet smelling. Mash this into the haggis along with the remaining butter, and add a big pinch of sea salt. Form this mixture into two sausage shapes, as long as the incision in the chicken breast.
- Stuff the haggis mix and chicken tenderloin fillet into the butterflied breast, and close to make a neat parcel. Run the back of your knife along the length of the bacon to stretch it a little, before wrapping three rashers around each chicken breast and securing with a cocktail stick if necessary. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through.
Serve with crushed neeps and tatties, or buttered leeks and cabbage for something a little greener. A mornay sauce made with a tangy Scottish cheddar would also be a great addition.
Haggis and cheese toastie
Or for a more unusual offally treat; grill with the finest Scottish cheddar
Two slices of good quality bread (we like sourdough)
100g haggis, crumbled
80g Scottish cheddar cheese (e.g. Isle of Mull Cheddar), grated
1 tbl spoon Ginger Pig caramelised red onion chutney
Option: Add wholegrain mustard to one slice of bread and the caramelised red onion chutney on the other.
- Heat a griddle pan over a low heat. Start assembling your sandwich, spreading the chutney on one slice of bread (and the mustard on the other if using)
- Pile your haggis and cheese onto once slice of bread and sandwich together with the other slice
- Butter the outside of your bread
- Griddle your sandwich for 6 minutes either side, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is charred