The Washington Post

Haggis for Cowards

Haggis for Cowards 4.000
Jan 17, 2007

Haggis is an unlovely word for what many consider a rather nasty dish. It is essentially a steamed pudding made of a forcemeat of sheep's liver, heart and lungs stuffed into a sheep's stomach. Fortunately, it is acceptable to make something called mock haggis, basically haggis for cowards. In this version, ground lamb is mixed with ground, cooked liver with ground lamb (to take the place of the unmentionables), shredded suet, sauteed onion, toasted oatmeal and, of course, a splash or two of tipsie.

The serving size depends on the diners' taste for haggis. Make sure you can accommodate a large bowl for steaming.

Servings: 4 - 8
  • 1/2 pound calf's liver
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth or beef stock, or as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 3/4 cup suet, shredded (may substitute solid vegetable shortening)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion (from 1 large onion)
  • 1/4 cup Scotch whiskey, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace


Place the liver in a medium pot and add enough beef broth or stock to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and gently cook for about 1 hour. (The liver will be quite firm and rosy-beige in color.) Transfer the liver to a plate and let cool to room temperature (about a half-hour); reserve the cooking liquid. Pulse the liver in a food processor just until coarsely ground. Set aside.

Toast the oats in a large dry skillet over low heat, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden and smell toasty. Transfer to a heatproof bowl large enough for the haggis to expand (at least 2-quart capacity; the haggis may swell by 10 percent or so). Add the remaining ingredients, along with a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid or as much as is needed to make the mixture moist enough to hold together. Mix well and shape into rounded mound. Cover the bowl tightly with a piece of lightly oiled aluminum foil. Set the bowl over a large pot filled with several inches of boiling water and steam for 3 hours, replenishing the water as necessary. Uncover, invert onto a serving platter and sprinkle with Scotch whiskey to taste. Serve hot.

Recipe Source

From food writer Bonny Wolf.

Tested by Geneva Collins.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 8): 461

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 36g 55%

Saturated Fat: 17g 85%

Cholesterol: 151mg 50%

Sodium: 657mg 27%

Total Carbohydrates: 11g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: n/a

Protein: 18g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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