How haggis, if no sheep stomach?

A Stomach S’ Clean, Yiz Can Eat Oot o’ It
The countdown to Haggis is 3 days (it would be 4, but Saturday is needed for the cooking). However, getting the stomach is still elusive. The other organs – heart, liver, lungs – will work out fine. Difficulties getting the stomach, however, are enough to upset mine.

From Americanized Haggis to Kosher Haggis though, there are options. Option #1:  wee dram (a dram is a shot of whisky). Dalwhinnie, preferably.

How do you make haggis if you don’t have a sheep’s stomach?
You get bloody innovative, that’s what. Nor am I the first chap in the States to have
trouble trying to ingredient-gather for haggis. Some various googling about
today has revealed potential substitutes and alternative haggis recipes
that range from lamb shoulder instead of organs, to kosher haggis. Yes.
Kosher haggis.

Just reading that merits another dram.

Substituting the stomach could be as easy as using a "clootie", or a
"plain linen dish towel". Granted it won’t have quite the same panache
as carting the chieftain o’ puddings out in ye ol’ sheep stomach bag,
but if that’s what it takes, then hand me a dishtowel. And another dram.

Another page, simply named Haggis Recipes, presents plenty of solutions.

With this kukri I thee slice
"Americanized Haggis" is another option, though the "skinless" part is what we’re trying to get around.

The trouble is a matter of perceived sanitation. People keep telling me that the stomach just can’t be gotten clean enough. Bollocks. Buckley and I can make a sheep’s stomach so clean, y’ can eat oot o’ it! Tossers. Time for adrother nam.

Beef Haggis is an option I’m not as keen on, but it caught my eye because the recipe lists an alternative to stomach. This could work… but only as long as tongue is firmly in cheek. From the recipe:

"Place in top half of a steamer
and steam over simmering water for 1 1/2 hours.  (If no bladder/stomach
is available put into a ovenproof bowl, cover with foil or waxed paper
(tied on) and steam as above.)"

Piping & Piping Hot
The tongue-in-cheek part comes in because traditionally you boil and serve the haggis in the sheep stomach-turned-serving-bowl. Part of the presentation is to bring out the haggis on a platter, piping hot and heralded by piping bagpipes (cue Buckley). You show it to everyone, and then you slice open the stomach so that all may admire, sniff, drool over and then fall upon the haggis with serving spoons.

For our purposes, we could put the haggis in a serving bowl and cover it with foil, just as in the above recipe. Then we cart it out, still boiled and foiled, and with great aplomb and panache take my Nepalese kukri, slice the foil and allow all to admire, sniff, drool over and then fall upon the haggis with serving spoons.

It just might work. As long as I have another… dram… another…

3 comments on “How haggis, if no sheep stomach?
  1. George says:

    Take a look at this site for an Indian restaurant in London, Babur, serving Nepalese haggis on Burns night:

  2. John Murray says:

    Would large sausage casings work instead of stomach.

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Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

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