I had a go a making haggis, guided by some personal insight from friends and some experimentation in the kitchen.
Rather than weighing everything out as I went along, I used volume as a measure ingredients – a 200ml ramekin (referred to as 1 unit) and teaspoons.
Looking at previous recipes, they seems to revolve around a cereal (mostly pinhead oatmeal) mix bound together by a stock/vegetable/lentil mix. Cereals can soak up flavours like nobody’s business, so I thought of getting as many strong flavours in there as possible from a variety of herbs/spices, vegetables and umami.
Vegetables: Onion, Carrot, Parsnip, Celery, Mushroom
Pulses: Red Lentils, Black Lentil (urad dal)
Cereals: Pinhead Oatmeal, Oat Bran, Pearl Barley
Fats: Vegetable/Nut Oil, Vegetable Suet
Fresh herbs: Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Bay Leaf
Spices: Black Peppercorn, Ground Mace.
Other flavours: Kombu (kelp), Marmite, Mushroom Juice *
* I filled a cereal bowl with finely cut mushrooms, mixed with one teaspoon of coarse salt, left overnight in the fridge, then squeezed out all the juices. Alternatively, add a full bodied soy sauce (tamari) or mushroom ketchup to taste.
Crush one unit of walnuts and put into a baking tray with three units of pinhead oatmeal, and pop in an oven at gas mark six, until it browns slightly and gives off a good nutty/toasted aroma. Leave to cool, then add one unit of oatbran and one unit of vegetable suet. Pop to one side for the time being.
Fine dice one unit each of onion, carrot, parsnip, celery and mushroom. Slowly fry all this in oil, until the onions are clear.
Tear leaves off fresh rosemary, thyme and sage to fill up one unit, then roughly chop and add to frying vegetables along with a teaspoon of ground mace, two teaspoons of coarse ground black pepper, and salt to taste.
Let it fry until a wonderful aroma starts to be released. Add both types of lentils, the pearl barley, stir around, then add seven units of water. Simmer until the red lentils break down, and also the barley and black lentil are cooked. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Mix the lentil/veg/barley into the oatmeal/oatbran/nuts and eventually it should all bind together.
Separate into four, then roll each quarter into a thick sausage, which you then roll in oatmeal, wrap in foil (leaving a bit of space for it to expand) and steam for a couple of hours.
Each haggis fed 4 people. So this experiment catered for 16, so triple amounts for busy Sunday café at Kebele.