Useful Tips

Haggis - the main national dish of Scotland


Haggis scottish dish It is prepared from offal, or rather, from offal (lungs, liver, heart) of a ram / sheep boiled in a ram’s stomach.

Despite the democratic nature of the ingredients, the dish turns out to be very nutritious and really tasty. And do not be afraid of the time you made for haggis at home, as stated in our step-by-step recipe with a photo, since most of it (up to 10 hours) will be spent on pre-soaking a lamb stomach in salt water. You’ll be cooking haggis for three hours, no more.

To make the dish more interesting and satisfying, in addition to chopped offal with spices and onions (as in the classic recipe), we will add sweet pepper and boiled rice to the filling (in the traditional haggis, the Scots put ¾ cup of slightly fried oatmeal). Thanks to this, the Scottish haggis will acquire a more appetizing appearance. And for juiciness, we’ll add some kidney fat to the minced meat. The result will be something like a home-cooked boiled sausage, fragrant, hearty and very tasty.


  • Lamb stomach
    (1 PC.)

  • Lamb fat
    (230 g)

  • Lamb liver
    (1 PC.)

  • Lamb heart
    (1 PC.)

  • Onion
    (4 things.)

  • Bulgarian sweet pepper
    (200 g)

  • Cereal rice
    (1 tbsp.)

  • Edible salt
    (1-2 tbsp. L.)

  • Ground black pepper
    (1 tbsp. L.)

  • Spices
    (1 tbsp. L.)

  • Lamb light
    (1 PC.)

  • Ground allspice
    (1 tbsp. L.)

Cooking steps

We clean the mutton’s stomach, rinse thoroughly, turn it inside out, scrape, rinse, - in a word, bring it to perfect purity and leave it in cool water (you can slightly salt it) to soak for 8-10 hours.

From offal (heart, liver, lung) and 230 g of renal fat, prepare the minced meat.

Finely chop 4 onions, dice 200 g of Bulgarian pepper and boil the rice in water in a ratio of 1: 2, respectively. Part of the offal can not be passed through a meat grinder, but finely chopped with a knife (as in the photo).

Mix the chopped offal with sweet pepper and season with 1-2 tbsp. l salt, 1 tbsp. l ground black pepper, 1 tbsp. l allspice and 1 tbsp. l mixtures of any spicy herbs (all without a slide).

Pour rice into the resulting spicy-minced mixture and mix.

We fill this mass with the mutton stomach that has already settled in the water and dress it.

We stuff the stuffed mutton stomach with a needle in several places and send it to simmer for 3 hours. It should become soft. To make sure that this is so, after 3 hours of boiling, cut a piece of the free part of the stomach and try. If the stomach is soft, remove it from the stove and cool slightly.

National Scottish haggis is good in both hot and cold. Cut it into thin slices, season with pepper and dried tomatoes and serve with the bread to the table.

How the animal became a dish

Knowledgeable people will surely remember the poem of Robert Burns "Ode to the Haggis." The poet's birthday in the country is a national holiday, and one of the traditional Scottish dishes, haggis, is an obligatory part of his menu. This national food is especially delicious on a frosty January evening with great local whiskey.

As for the origin of the name of the dish, there are two versions. The first, scientific, says that it came from the word haggen - chop. The second, more romantic and sad, but essentially humorous, tells about once lived in the mountains of Scotland wild animals (Haggis scoticus).

According to legend, these were small creatures with a muzzle of a hedgehog and short wings covered with bird feathers mixed with wool. Nature made sure that they could move nimbly along the mountain slopes, giving them right and left paws of different lengths. Unfortunately, this feature prevented the animals from reproducing, and they have died out long ago, but stylized "stuffed" incredible creatures can still be seen in the design of some Scottish pubs.

It is interesting that during the celebration of the Burns Night, trying this national dish is taken under the game of bagpipes. The Scots jokingly say that the sounds extracted from the instrument are the dying squeak of a haggis.

There is another version composed especially for tourists. Like, the animals can still be seen on the Scottish hills. The spread of the story has led some interviewed American tourists to seriously believe and argue that the haggis is a real beast!

What is haggis

The national Scottish dish haggis is a hot, spicy and aromatic meat pudding made from lamb giblets, oatmeal, onions and spices, the lamb stomach of which serves as a shell.

In the old days, after the slaughter of the animal, everything went into business, there was practically no waste left, which was important for Scottish shepherds. In addition, it was convenient to take food with you on the road and to pastures - the used stomach served as a natural “container”.

In order to cook Scottish haggis, lamb entrails are required: liver, lungs, heart. They are boiled, finely chopped along with onions and interior fat, mixed with crushed oatmeal. The mixture is generously seasoned with nutmeg, lemon juice, sage and other spices. The resulting mass is filled into a cleaned stomach, after which it is tightly tied and set to cook. Gourmets add scotch whiskey to the broth, which is also soaked during cooking.

Today, for packaging haggis in Scotland, beef or pork intestines are often taken, or even a synthetic shell - like the one in which sausages are “dressed”. Yes, and the offal of a sheep is also often replaced with pork. This is not an original national recipe, but this version of the dish is quite popular these days.

Of course, haggis cannot be called "handsome" or "king of elegance." Externally, the dish resembles a round stuffed sausage. But don't let the stereotypes fool yourself - haggis is incredibly tasty!

After tasting this aromatic and satisfying dish, even those who do not like liver, admit: the matter is not in the products, but in the skill of the cook.

Traditionally, two types of mashed potatoes are served with Scottish haggis - turnip and potato (Neeps and tatties) with a special whiskey sauce.

Vegetarians can also try this famous national food. To do this, they will not have to violate their principles - there is a version of this dish with oatmeal, lentils, nuts, beans, onions and spices. And the Jews living in Scotland are always ready to treat fellow believers with kosher haggis.

Where to "catch the haggis"

This national dish with a centuries-old history in Scotland is very popular, haggis can be ordered in almost every restaurant and pub, as well as bought in any local butcher shop or farm store. Scottish chefs even came up with numerous variations of its use: for burgers (haggis burger), pizza (as a filling) and Indian pakora.

In addition, Haggis is a common convenience food that is easy to find in supermarkets. It is sold in banks, and it’s enough to warm it up at home. The most famous delicatessen producer is Macsween Edinburgh. Other popular brands include J Saunderson, Grants of Speyside and Blackface Meat Company.

The Scots love for this dish has long gone beyond the gastronomic framework - for them it is one of the symbols of the country and an object of national pride. Even annual haggis throwing championships are held in Robert Burns' homeland in the Scottish town of Alloway.