dimanche 13 février 2011

a very nice haggis recipe

It's now the middle of February, so enough time had elapsed to contemplate getting the leftover uncooked haggis ingredients out of the freezer, and enjoying another winter dose of protein, fat, and vitamins.

The formal farce de panse de brébis that I prepared on the 25th with the French palate very much at the foremost of my mind was proclaimed "très bon" on the night, but to my mind was a trifle bland.

We began by thawing the 250g or so of chopped pluck, already mixed with some salt, very little pepper, whizzed onions, and the st. doux first thing this morning. It was completely thawed with just a little blood at the base of the container by 1800h.

Still using the original container used for freezing, I added: parsley rescued from the dumpster at the MIN, finely chopped, a very expensive hand-picked Cevennes oignon doux, also finely chopped, 1 clove of garlic (chopped); an eighth of a nutmeg, finely grated; and finely ground turmeric, black pepper, cayenne. Then 5 drops of Worcester Sauce which is just a splash, but does add a dash of umami

I added a bit more oatmeal and rolled oats to the mix to try to encourage it to firm up a bit, but it was slightly too liquid all along, giving a final consistency similar to the Dutch kroket. This is fine as long as it remains in your hand cooked but unbitten, but can explode in nasty gobbets of hot grease down a party shirt at the end of a long evening on the beer. The latter outcome is naturally best avoided if possible.

Still, it smelled very nice and fresh, and the 50g spoonfuls were just manageable making the burgers à l'ancienne, using, again oatmeal and rolled oats as the dry outer layer, bound with a couple of eggs to which a bit of salt, black pepper, and moutarde à l'ancienne had also been added.

Then it remained only to fry them in a shallow pan with a close fitting lid for about 10 minutes each side (which crisped them up nicely) and pop them into a 150°C oven to cook a little more while preparing the mash and the covers.

The final blow for kitchen experimentation was the pancake/omelette/fritter/rissole concoction that I made with the last of all the ingredients, thoroughly mixed.

The recipe does generate a fair amount of washing up, but I kept the kitchen tidy as I went along (starting with an empty dishwasher is a great luxury).

There were more pancakes/omelettes/fritters/rissoles than we could possibly eat in one sitting, and my lovelies each exclaimed their satisfaction with the results aloud. But the greatest pleasure was mine: they were well-cooked (not at all bloody, and not over either), and seasoned to perfection.

If I were doing it again I would stick with the proportions outlined above, but leave the oatmeal in the mixture longer to let it soak up the fluid for longer (and consider pearl barley as a possible substitute), or maybe experiment with upping the lard content.

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