Catholic Recipe: Haggis
Today Saint Andrew's feast is celebrated by patriotic Scots everywhere with ceremonies and banquets of less muttony variety — grouse and beef are more favored — but the Aqua Vitae which was the old Doric term for whiskey still plays a role. It is also a favorite day in rural areas of the homeland for foretelling the future by omens and charms.
Time-honored for the Scots on the feast of St. Andrew on November 30 also is the eating of the Haggis, referred to fondly by the real Scot as "Himsel'," and by Burns as the "great chieftain of the pudding race." A leading culinary expert tells us "one does not attempt to make a haggis; one just buys a haggis and does not inquire too closely as to how it was made." If any of our readers is inclined to ignore this admonition, here is how it is done.
Wash the bag in cold water, cleaning it thoroughly and soak overnight in salted water. Wash the pluck (liver, lights, heart) and boil for two hours in sufficient water to cover "with the windpipe hanging out." When cold, cut off the windpipe. Grate half the liver (the other half is not used), chop up the heart, the lights, the suet, and onions. Toast the oatmeal to a light brown and add to the above mixture; then add 2 cups of the water the pluck was boiled in, the salt, pepper, and the mixed herbs. Fill the bag half full, sew it up, and boil for three hours, pricking the bag from time to time to prevent its bursting. Serve the haggis very hot with mashed potatoes and boiled turnips.Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951