Saturday, June 14, 2014

June Daring Cooks' Challenge - Haggis

Oh yes, you read that title correctly.

The June Daring Cooks Challenge was hosted by Ruth from Makey-Cakey. She brought out the Daring-est of Daring Cooks and challenged us to make real Scottish Haggis.

Unfamiliar with haggis?  It's a traditional Scottish dish, a meat pudding of sorts, made from organ meats.  Usually containing sheep heart, liver and lung. And encased in the sheep's stomach.


I have never wanted to try it.

Daddy actually tried it once. In Scotland. It was on the breakfast bar where he was staying. And he said it wasn't bad!

But I still have the truly American  squeamishness about organ meats, so I've never been brave enough to try it.

So when our hostess suggested that this would be the challenge she would like to host, I actually told her that it was a great idea.  I mean, we call ourselves daring, right? It's right there in the title every month!

But then... I chickened out.  And decided to make the vegetarian version.

Now... I don't know that you can rightfully call a vegetarian dish "haggis," but it is definitely inspired by the real thing, with the flavorings and process or preparing it.

It was quite simple to make, with a lot of fun flavors and textures.

It started with onion...

...then carrots...

...and then some protein. The recipe calls for ground hazelnuts and peanuts, but with little man's allergies, I substituted sunflower seeds. And there's also mashed kidney beans.

Everything is cooked together with some broth, some lentils and a delicious blend of spices...

...and then you add steel cut oats to bind everything together.  This is cooked on the stove top to soften up the oats...

...and then placed into a loaf pan to be finished off in the oven.

Little man actually loved it right at this stage, and gleefully chowed down on the bits that were left in the pot as I snapped a few photos.

The resulting dish is toasty golden brown on the outside and full of delicious flavors.

It made a very hearty side dish - it could probably stand all on its own, what with the lentils, beans and nuts (seeds for me).

This was definitely a fun dish, and I'd really like to make it again. I think it needed a bit more broth than I used, but it had tremendous flavor and was very enjoyable.

And I am seriously considering getting over myself and trying a more authentic version.


To see the most daring of Daring Cooks, check them out here.

And to see the full challenge, as wonderfully prepared by Ruth, check it out here.

Vegetarian Haggis

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
5 fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (I didn't have mushrooms, so I omm=itted these)
1 cup vegetable broth (I used chicken broth, making this not truly vegetarian...)
1/3 cup dry red lentils (I used regular lentils)
2 tablespoons canned kidney beans - drained, rinsed, and mashed
3 tablespoons ground peanuts (I used sunflowers, ground in the food processor)
2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts (again, I used sunflowers, ground in the food processor)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice (I used salt, pepper and garlic powder)
1 egg, beaten
1 1/3 cups steel cut oats

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and saute the onion 5 minutes, until tender.
Mix in carrot and mushrooms (if using), and continue cooking 5 minutes.
Stir in broth, lentils, kidney beans, nuts (seeds), soy sauce, and lemon juice. Season with thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and mixed spice.
Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in oats, cover, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
While this simmers, preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Quickly stir the egg into the saucepan, then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan.
Bake 30 minutes, until firm.



  1. This looks perfect - thanks so much for taking part. I think haggis was a bit too scary and put a LOT of people off the challenge altogether, but thankfully not everyone - phew! It's a very versatile recipe - it makes a really good stuffing too.

  2. Your veggie haggis looks fantastic Shelley! :)


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