I was chatting with Bailey and her husband mid-summer; they'd invited me to the Highland Games in Fergus, a town pretty close to here - I've always wanted to go, but was already booked to be elsewhere. They'd decided not to go either after finding out it was $25 a person just to enter. We got to talking about how much meat we could buy for $100 between the four of us, and eventually hatched a plan to talk Craig at Royal City Crossfit into hosting a surprise Highland Games style workout and potluck in honour of my boyfriend's birthday. This seemed like a solid plan as he is in an organization that requires the wearing-of-kilts and it gave us a solid excuse to try and make haggis from scratch (PS - I have no idea why, but I want to call it "a haggis", not just "haggis"). Craig was surprisingly amenable to the idea (thank you Craig!).
Thatcher Farms near Guelph raises their own lambs - I Facebooked with them and asked for whatever lamb guts they could give me and ordered the beef suet (fat) from them too. Since we were going all out, I decided to keep it super authentic and use rough cut oats rather than try and Paleo-ize the recipe. First time I had oats in awhile and my stomach thought they were pretty interesting. Some folks were hesitant to try the haggis, but everyone was a good sport and took at least a bite. Absolutely everyone who ate it was a-ok with it and some took seconds!
I would 100% make this again, and think that you could 100% replace the oats with a few cups of chopped nuts and have less stomach distress if you've gotten away from eating grains. A huge bonus to this whole endeavour was that it was surprisingly easy and surprisingly affordable. Jamie Oliver is all about cost per serving - I got meat from the most expensive (delicious) butcher in town, and calculate the cost per serving of this meal to be less than $2.00.
Authentic Scottish haggis in a crockpot
Serves a lot of people. Let's say 10+ as a main course.
- 1 lamb's pluck (I ended up with two sets of kidneys, one set of lungs, one liver)
- 24 oz lightly toasted coarse steel cut oats (I used Bob's Red Mill "Golden Spurtle" winning oats)
- 1-2 tablespoons salt
- 1 level tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground all-spice
- 1 level tablespoon of mixed, dried herbs
- 8oz suet (mine was beef)
- 4 large onions
- Put the meat minus the suet in your crockpot, cover with salted cold water, and cook on low for five hours.
- Drain organs and reserve 2 cups of the broth you made cooking them in the crockpot.
- Put everything in the food processor and pulse until finely diced. You are making a lot of haggis so this might take several batches.
- Press the whole shebang into your crockpot, it will resemble a large meatloaf, cover with tinfoil, and cook on high for 3 hours or 5 hours on low. I suspect low would be better as my edges got too crispy on high heat, but I was short on time.
The workout was a ton of fun.
Royal City Highland Games
3 rounds for time of:
- 40 m medicine ball throw over your head backwards (the Scottish way? I used 14 lbs)
- 5 atlas stone cleans (I used our 12", approximately 65 lb stone)
- 40 m tire flip
- 400 m run with your medicine ball