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Haggis information

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See [5.3] for the "Address to a Haggis" Poem by Robert Burns

Buying haggis

The best known haggis maker in the world is Charles MacSween of
Edinburgh. He makes about 1 ton a day and ships it all over the UK and overseas too (it keeps remarkably well in the post). Many shops in the UK (including supermarkets) sell MacSween's haggis. There is also a vegetarian version which is quite tasty. The vegetarian one is made from black kidney beans, lentils, nuts, mushrooms, swede and carrots. It accounts for 25% of MacSween's haggis sales. When people in Scotland talk about Turnips (neeps) they mean the Swede variety which is more yellow than the original white Turnip variety

Macsween of Edinburgh
Dryden Road
Bilston Glen
EH20 9LZ
Scotland, UK.

Tel: +44 131 440 2555
Fax: +44 131 440 2674

As an alternative, you should try the haggis at Sandy Crombie's on Broughton Street. There is a guidebook to the best food shops in the UK (I can't remember the title, but I can find it if you want), and you'll find Sandy's shop in there. It is a truly excellent butchers, and is regarded by many as an equal to McSweens.

Buy Haggis Online supply MacSween haggis vegetarian and meat versions as well as related products. and Grants tinned haggis to Burns Suppers worldwide.

See also the excellent site at

Cooking haggis

From interview with John MacSween of MacSween's the butchers in
The Times, 2-Jan-93, P7.

"Wrap the haggis tightly in tin foil and place in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 45 minutes per lb. When ready to serve, remove from foil and drain off the excess water. Split the skin with a sharp knife and spoon the contents onto a hot (most important) plate with mashed turnip and mashed potato." Allow about 6-8oz per person.

Haggis in the US

US customs seem to have problems allowing Haggis into the country. However this being the stuff that kept Highlanders alive through tough winters you really have to wonder if they should be letting haggis in and instead banning all the deep fried fast food rubbish instead.

If you live in the US and want a haggis, try the vegetarian version

Haggis recipie

Source: mailto:


This is the most traditional of all Scottish dishes, eaten on Burns Night (25th January; the birthday of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, 1759-1796) and at Hogmanay (New Year's Eve), accompanied by the traditional Black Bun, Het Pint and Shortbread. It is really a large round sausage; the skin being a sheep's paunch. The finest haggis of all is made with deer liver, served to the skirl of the pipes, cut open with a traditional 'sgian dubh' (black stocking knife) and accompanied by small glasses of neat Scotch whisky. This recipe dates from 1856.

1 cleaned sheep or lamb's stomach bag
2 lb. dry oatmeal
1 lb. chopped mutton suet
1 lb. lamb or venison liver, boiled and minced
2 c. stock
sheep heart and lights, boiled and minced
1 large chopped onion
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Toast oatmeal slowly until crisp.
2. Mix all ingredients (except stomach bag) together; add stock. 3. Fill bag to just over half full, press out air, sew up securely. 4. Have ready a large pot of boiling water.
5. Prick the haggis all over with a large pin so it doesn't burst. 6. Boil slowly for 4 to 5 hours.
7. Serve with Clapshot.


Clapshot is delicious with Haggis. A traditional Orkney dish, it is widely eaten in the North of Scotland.

1 lb. potatoes
1 lb. white or yellow turnips (or swedes)
4 chopped shallots, or
1 tbs. chopped chives
1 tbs. butter or dripping, heaped
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of mace or nutmeg if desired

1. Boil potatoes and turnips separately, drain.
2. Mash very well, adding all other ingredients.
3. If desired, add sprinkle of mace or nutmeg.
4. Season to taste, serve hot.

Is haggis an animal?

Yes, according to 33% of Americans.
(let me know if you catch one)

A poem about haggis

(See [5.3] for the Robert Burns "Address to a Haggis")

The haggis is a sturdy breed
with habits like the sloth
it makes its nest from Harris tweed
and strips of tartan cloth

It only ventures out by night
and hunts in packs like dogs
it gives a green and ghastly light
and makes a noise like frogs

Its legs are shorter on one side
to help it roam the Glens
If you scare it from behind
it tumbles down the Bens.

the natives catch it by the tail
to dodge its beating wings
they boil it in a sturdy pale
and eat the fearsome things!

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Q-HTML V3.4 by Craig Cockburn created this page on 06-Jan-2013 at 16:39:39