Totally inspired by Masterchef and Tom Kitchen on this one. I’d got vague memories of haggis from childhood. I think I’d only had it once and that was on Burns’ Night at Cubs. I seem to remember I was surprised by the taste which I actually quite liked, despite that I never tried it again until now. Much like a lot of dishes from this island Haggis now seems to be undergoing a renaissance and as such it’s been brought up to date by a lot of our skilled kitchen artisans.
If you’re not familiar with haggis it’s quite spicy not so much in the heat but more in the fragrance, the best way of describing it I think is it’s quite peppery. To cut through this I needed something sharp and sweet, this led me to the sauce and the salad. The plum sauce is very Chinese in its essence with the Star Anise and Cinnamon additions. The Salad gives a nice fresh balance to the dish with the apple adding a little extra sweetness. I used a very light dressing for the salad as I didn’t want to detract too much from the plum sauce
If you’re put off by thought of what haggis is made from, don’t be, you eat sausages don’t you?
The recipe below is not exact as I’ve only cooked it once so have yet to measure and weigh etc …
Serves Two as a starter
Some Haggis … about the size of a snooker ball or slightly larger x2
Breadcrumbs … I used the Japanese breadcrumbs for extra crunch
1 egg Beaten
2 Tablespoons of plain flour
4 Plums skinned and quartered
3 Tablespoons of Caster Sugar
1 Star Anise
½ Cinnamon Stick
150 ml water
Splash of white wine vinegar
1 Carrot cut into very thin batons
½ Apple cut into very thin batons
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
Tiny splash of white wine vinegar
Open your haggis, take a small hand full and shape into a burger like shape. I found it quite tricky to keep it in one lump as haggis is quite dry, therefore you may want to wet it somewhat with water or even egg.
Once you made your two shapes your ready to bread up. Get three bowls and in each one put separately, the flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
First coat your haggis shape in the flour, tapping slightly to remove the excess
The dip in the egg and again coat fully.
Now place into the breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly
Place back in the egg and cover again
Then back into the breadcrumbs to finish this stage
(The repetition of egg and breadcrumbs is optional; I like it as it gives a much nicer crust and crunch)
Put your breaded haggis in the fridge for 30 mins
Heat the oven to 180 degrees
For the sauce put all the ingredients in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil then simmer. At this point is a taste trial for you, obviously the plums need to turn to a mush, how sweet you like it effects the amount of sugar and how rich you like the sauce defines how much you should reduce the sauce by. When you’re happy with it, remove the cinnamon and star anise then blend until smooth.
Heat a non stick frying pan and add a knob of butter and a glug of olive oil.
Gently place your haggises in the pan and fry until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the crust is solid, gently turn over brown the other side. Then place in the oven for 15 mins. Again you’ll need to check if its cooked, so either with a skewer or small sharp knife, test the temperature of the centre of the haggis, it should be piping hot
For the Salad dressing whisk the lemon, oil and vinegar together with some seasoning until you’re happy with it
Place your salad on the plate, followed by the Haggis and the Sauce and your ready to go.