Adrian demystifies the art of cooking Scotland’s national dish.


  • Haggis

  • 3 cups oatmeal

  • 2 large onion, skin on (about 250g)

  • 1 sheep’s pluck (which comes as heart, lungs and liver, joined together as one)

  • 300 g minced lamb

  • 200 g beef or lamb suet, grated (this easier to do when frozen)

  • 1 cup good whisky

  • 1 tbs. white pepper

  • 2 tsp. salt

  • ½ tbs. cayenne pepper

  • 1 sheep stomach

  • Neaps and Tattie

  • 500 gms parsnip

  • 500 gms swede

  • Knob of butter

  • Milk


  • 1.

    Preheat your oven to 180°C.

  • 2.

    Scatter the oatmeal onto the baking sheet and toast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking from time to time, until evenly coloured. On a separate tray, roast the onion 20 minutes, until nicely soft and golden. When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and chop the onion finely.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, put the pluck into a stockpot or large saucepan and pour enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer fairly vigorously for 20 minutes. Drain and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut away the windpipe and chop or mince the organs.

  • 4.

    Put the chopped pluck into a large mixing bowl with all the remaining ingredients, except for the sheep’s stomach. Use your hands to mix everything together very thoroughly.

  • 5.

    Stuff the mixture into the sheep’s stomach until it’s about three-quarters full- you need to leave room for oatmeal to expand. Squeeze out as much air as possible then sew or tie the stomach bag securely. Use a pin to prick the haggis randomly a few times, which allows the steam to escape during the cooking and stops it bursting. You can make the haggis to this stage in advance.

  • 6.

    To cook the haggis, Sit it on an upturned saucer in a saucepan that contains it snugly and pour on boiling water to cover. Return to a rolling boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours. Top with boiling water, if need be, so that remains completely covered.

  • 7.

    Remove from the poaching water and leave to rest for a few minutes before removing from vacuum-pack and serving.

  • 8.

    To serve, slice it open lengthwise and scoop out the spicy contents. As most people probably know, the proper accompaniments for haggis are ‘neeps and tatties’ (mashed swede and potatoes) and a wee dram of whisky.

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