Traditional haggis

  • medium
  • Makes approx. 6 haggises
  • 4 hours 40 minutes
Not yet rated

Burns Night is just days away, so why not celebrate with your own homemade haggis. Danny Kingston shares his favourite recipe for this traditional Burns Night staple, which is surprisingly easy to make

First published in 2016

I love haggis and will gladly consume it throughout the year, without all the pomp and ceremony of having to toast it and hauling the ol’ bagpipes out (in our house, it’s a pink recorder). But there is something nice about eating it specifically for Burns Night. A bit of drama and theatricality at the end of a dreary January, along with some whisky, always goes down well. Normally I go out and simply buy one from the supermarket, but this year I decided to try and make one from scratch, as testimony to doing the whole nose to tail thing properly and in the spirit of adventure.

Recipe reproduced with kind permission of Sous Chef.




Traditional haggis

  • 1 ox bung, soaked for 4 hours and cleaned
  • 1.4kg lamb's pluck, (heart, lungs and liver)
  • 500g of beef, or lamb trimmings or stewing steak
  • 200g of suet
  • 500g of oatmeal, (coarse)

Seasoning (adjust to taste)



Rinse the whole pluck in cold water. Trim off any large pieces of fat and cut away the windpipe

Place in a good sized pot and cover with cold water. The lungs float, so keep submerged with a plate or a lid. Bring to the boil and skim the surface regularly. Gently simmer for 2 hours
Lift the meat from the pot with tongs or a slotted spoon, and rinse in cold water to remove any scum. Place into a bowl and leave to cool
Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve and put back on the stove to reduce until you have roughly 500–1l of stock. Leave to cool
Whilst the stock reduces, finely dice the cooked heart and lungs. Grate the liver using the coarse side of the grater. Finely dice the trimmings. Mix together in a large bowl, along with the suet, oatmeal and spices
Measure how much stock remains from cooking the pluck, and make up to 1l with cold water. When cool, add to the haggis mixture

To check the seasoning, pan fry a tablespoon of the mixture for 2–3 minutes and taste. Add any extra salt, pepper or spice if needed

Spoon the haggis mixture into the soaked, rinsed ox bung. Be aware the filling swells as it cooks, so pack quite loosely, and keep a little bung at each end
When the haggis is the size required, expel any extra air, pinch, tie with string and cut with scissors
Tie the new end of the bung, and continue stuffing. Freeze any spare haggises
Before cooking, pierce the haggis several times with a needle. Place in a pan of cold water, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1.5–2 hours. When ready, the internal temperature should read at least 74°C
Serve with mashed potatoes and swede. Or neeps and tatties
First published in 2016

Danny is a food adventurer, home grower, supper club host and writer of the entertaining and quirky epicurean blog, Food Urchin.

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