|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 102g||131%|
|Saturated Fat 55g||274%|
|Total Carbohydrate 57g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 9g||31%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 63mg||313%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
There are a couple of special celebration nights in Scotland—Burns Night and Hogmanay—when the traditional dish of haggis, tatties, and neeps is served. Haggis is a famous Scottish preparation similar to black pudding in texture, made out of sheep's offal (lung, liver, heart), spices, onions, and suet, and cooked in the animal's stomach. Nowadays, it's normally cooked in casings rather than the stomach. It is always served with mashed potatoes (called "tatties") and mashed turnips (called "neeps").
Keep in mind that depending on where you are located, neeps may mean something different. In England, neeps are considered turnips. However, in Scotland, neeps are considered rutabaga. Swede (Swedish or white turnips) are also called neeps.
The haggis makes or breaks this recipe, so make sure you buy a good quality haggis, be it traditional meat or a vegetarian type. A wee dram of Scotch whisky would be traditional to accompany this truly Scottish meal.
"This is traditionally eaten as a Burns Night dish, but is delicious all year round. The method of boiling the haggis is super-easy and ensures it is piping hot all the way through. Try crumbling the cooked haggis with a fork if you want an alternative presentation to slices." — Julia Hartbeck
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds haggis
1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
4 tablespoons (2-ounces) unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup milk, divided
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 pounds turnips, peeled, and coarsely chopped
Cook the Haggis
Gather the ingredients.
Cook the haggis first by placing it in a large pot and covering it with cold water. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes per pound; for a 3 1/2-pound haggis, cook for 2 hours and 20 minutes. While the haggis cooks, prepare the potatoes and turnips.
Cook the Potatoes
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt.
Cover the pan with a lid and bring the potatoes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes. Do not wash the saucepan, you will use it again.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or ricer. Set aside.
In the pan in which the potatoes were cooked, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the milk. Melt over medium heat.
Add the potatoes to the pan and mix well.
Add a pinch of nutmeg and pepper to taste and stir well to create a smooth, creamy mash. Set aside.
Cook the Turnips
Add the turnips to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt.
Cover the pan, bring the turnips to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain the turnips.
Mash the turnips with a ricer or potato masher. Set aside.
In the pan that you cooked the turnips, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons milk. Melt over medium heat.
Add the cooked turnips and stir until smooth and creamy.
Serve Haggis, Tatties, and Neeps
Once cooked, remove the haggis from the water, place on a serving dish and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting it open with scissors or a knife.
Slice the haggis and serve with tatties and neeps.
Traditional Haggis Dinner
Although a meal of haggis, potatoes, and turnips is hearty and filling enough, you can offer other dishes to make it a truly Scottish spread:
- Start your meal with a small bowl of cock-a-leekie soup, a traditional chicken and leek soup, thickened with rice and flavored with carrots and spices.
- Make the haggis your main dish, always making sure all guests have potatoes and turnips alongside their haggis.
- Finish your dinner with Scottish cranachan, a delicious dessert made out of toasted oatmeal, cream, whisky, and raspberries, layered in a beautiful presentation.
What Do Haggis Taste Like?
Haggis are a unique food with an interesting taste. Many people agree that haggis has an earthy, nutty, and peppery flavor with a rather pungent odor. The texture is crumbly and grainy. Well-made haggis is quite delicious—comparable to black pudding, pâté, and even meatloaf—though lower-quality haggis can be disappointing.
Are Haggis Illegal in the U.S.?
Authentic Scottish haggis has not been available in the United States since the country placed a ban on the use and import of livestock lungs in 1971. In 1998, the U.S. also banned beef, sheep, and goat imports from the European Union due to concerns of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease). However, American companies have been producing lung-free haggis for a number of years and you can get vegetarian haggis. In 2020, an inspection update found regions in the U.K. at a negligible or controlled risk for BSE. That may affect the import restrictions on animal product imports, though not for haggis that include lungs.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA APHIS | Animal Health Status of Regions. Aphis.usda.gov. 2020.