Monday, October 27, 2008


Traditional recipes call for the sheep's pluck and lights (stomach, liver, heart and lungs). If I ever found myself in a place where I could get all these things and people were clamoring for a haggis I'd love to try to make it that way.

Haggis is like meatloaf or shepherd's pie or corned beef hash. Ground up meat with lots of savory spices. What separates haggis though is that it's prepared with oatmeal and it's steamed or boiled. That and it's also made with offal (see paragraph one). Any recipe that uses what might otherwise go to waste is a pretty good thing in my book.

I've made it. Sort of. If you stick to the spirit of the recipe (offal, oatmeal and boiled/steamed) and don't get hung up on using sheep's pluck and lights. Over the course of six months or so I had cooked three ducks, each time, freezing the heart, liver and neck (don't remember if there were gizzards too...) I thawed (almost wrote unthawed) these and then boiled, chopped fine and combined them in a bowl with roasted oatmeal, spices (primarily Allspice) and a bit of whisky. Knowing that a sheep's pluck would be hard to come by and be way too big for the minuscule amount of meat I was working with I decided I'd go with casings. Stuffing them was messy - I'm using a pastry bag next time... I ended up with these sausage looking thingies which I proclaimed to be duck haggis. Next time I'll probably go with a beef bung for the casing and serve it more like a hash than a sausage. Haggis isn't the prettiest dish going but I'm not too worried about presentation since it'll probably end up being a haggis for one (though I'm hoping for two).


Monday, October 20, 2008


I'm just beginning to explore the world of goat. Even so I've come a long way. It'd be hard not to when it used to be that my two biggest exposures to it were the occasional log of cheese and my friend Andy telling me not to call him "goat head" after I'd say "go ahead."

Goat the meat - had a handful of times, almost always something stew-like. Is there a goat steak? How about a goat burger with goat cheese, really peppery arugula (forget the baby stuff) and sauteed red onions? Goat carpaccio with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt and something green on top - rosemary? Sounds like it'd be pretty tasty.

And the ones I do know I'd like to get to know better - goat cheese - Saturday. Goat's milk ice cream - last night. (Supposedly this ice cream has less fat than cow's milk ice cream but it tastes so so much more decadent - I recommend the vanilla - put some maple syrup from the NEK on it.) Goat butter - forgot where that was from (picked it up in the Park Slope Food Coop) - it has its own taste and it melts more easily than cow's milk - a bonus if you keep your butter in the fridge. And tonight - radishes with goat cheese spread atop. (Mmm, thank you, M.)

And now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to goat head and have dinner.