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As everyone knows, Scottish Christmas traditions are blasphemous mockeries of the pure and holy birth of our One True Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Amen. And whereas Scottish children only have a punch in the mouth to look forward to for breakfast, and maybe a sporran sandwich for lunch if they are lucky, the one great tradition of this nation of unwashed heathens is the Haggis dinner. Let's make one why not!
To make a traditional haggis with gravy (4 servings), you will need the following ingredients:
1 sheep 1 onion 3 fistfuls of porridge oats 1 lb fresh thistles a few cups of seawater (if you don't live near the sea, you can strain out the brine from a can of tuna) Aaah Bisto! a strong stomach
First and foremost, separate the sheep from the other ingredients, as they have a tendency to nibble at them when your back is turned.
Begin by finely chopping the onions and thistles. Mix them up with the seawater and the oats, then bring the resulting concoction to boil on the stove. Turn the heat down and leave the mixture to simmer while you shear the sheep. Although a lot of more traditional haggis recipes call for unsheared sheep, the untrained palate may find displeasure in the unusual texture. Once the sheep is shiny and baldeous, use a hacksaw to remove the legs and tail. Next, slather the torso and head completely with the oaty mixture. Now comes the hard part - you need to reach into the sheep's mouth with both hands, and turn the whole animal inside out about its stomach. If the animal is still alive you may find it easier to complete this step if you put it out of it's misery with a frying pan first. Once the procedure is complete, pick up any remaining internal organs that will have inevitably made a 'break for freedom' in the process, and stuff them into the stomach. Tie a knot in the bulging sac and leave it to simmer in a pot of water for at least three hours.
Now is a good time to head outside for a vomit break. Before leaving the kitchen though, be sure to plop the severed limbs into the remaining seawater along with the Bisto, and put on full heat.
If and when you bring up the nerve to re-enter the kitchen, you should discover that after three hours have passed that the haggis will have the appearance and feel of a giant ball of sheep giblets. Take a deep breath, pull the steaming treat out of the water with a stick, and hack the globby mess into four with an axe or some similar heavy duty tool. By this point, your limb-gravy should have reached a consistency strong enough to require both hands to stir. Coat each helping lovingly with a thick glob of the pungent gloop and serve immediately. If you have finicky guests, it may be a good idea pick out some of the larger lumps and put them on your own plate.
Enjoy! And remember; never mention any details of the cooking process to your guests, as a secret kept is a dinner not thrown up.
edit Haggis Tips
- The best haggis is always served with 'neeps' and 'tatties', whatever the hell they are.
- For a true Scotch experience, accompany each serving with a pint of Drambuie (or a half-pint for kids)
- You can accommodate vegetarian guests by telling them that you made the haggis from tofu.
- For a change of pace, you can make individual sized mini-haggises by simply substituting the sheep for eight stoats.