Paggis – pork haggis

Posted on February 18, 2021 at 8:02 pm

Shh, don’t tell anyone in Scotland but… I made haggis from pork instead of lamb. I know, it’s probably sacrilege, but pork is a fraction of the price of lamb, and simple economics dictate that if I want delicious haggisness, it needs to be in a reasonable price bracket. So… paggis! (And thank you to kiddo for naming it – good job, kiddo)

The strangest thing about making this was that as soon as I added the spices to the oats, I knew it was haggis. Some dishes are defined by their spice mix, and haggis is definitely one of them.

  • 2 lb / 900 g coarse ground pork
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped however you prefer
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lb / 225 g oats
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp mustard powder
  • Cook the onion in the butter until it is softened and slightly translucent. Add the spices, seasonings, and oats. Add a little water to wet the oats very slightly, a couple of tablespoons or so, then set to one side to cool.

    Grind the pork coarsely. Add the oats and spices mix and blend with your hands until it comes together into a sticky mess.

    Place the sticky mess into a zip top bag, or seal into a sous vide vacuum bag. If you aren’t going to cook it immediately, place it in your fridge until you’re ready to cook.

    Set your sous vide to 180F / 82C, or set a large pan on medium-low heat. Cook for 3 hours. Let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes while you get the side dishes sorted. Traditional haggis is served with neeps and tatties (turnips and mashed potatoes), but this is paggis. I served it with mixed veg and braised cabbage, but you should serve whatever side dishes you prefer!

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    Gluten free Lorne sausage

    Posted on June 23, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Lorne sausage is Scotland’s own sausage. Made well, with good ingredients, it is delightfully different. Sadly all too many are made without care and with iffy ingredients, so they are merely “tasty” instead of “delightful”. Here’s a gluten free version for those who have to avoid wheat and other gluten bearing grains.

  • 1 cup rice, cooked in 2 cups lightly salted water, cooled in fridge overnight
  • 4lbs ground meat
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Weigh the cooked rice. Add water to make 800g / 1lb 12oz. Add in all the ground spices and salt. Grind up to a rough paste in your food processor or with mortar and pestle – you don’t want it totally smooth, but you want to avoid too many intact grains. Basically, don’t sweat it as this is going to make a “rustic” sausage.

    Mix the ground rice and spice blend into the ground meat. You’ll notice I didn’t specify which meat to use, this is because you can use whatever you have to hand. Beef, pork, chicken, or any combination you wish, just be sure to not use really lean cuts – you want the sausagemeat to be fairly fatty otherwise it’ll dry out when you cook it.

    Take your thoroughly blended sausagemeat and place it into a loaf pan. Cool thoroughly in the loaf pan then turn it out and cut into slices – a serrated blade works better if you have one.

    Fry in a little butter or over a grill or under a broiler until it’s cooked – I’m not giving you a cook time because I cut them thick and you might cut them thinly. You’ll want to see a good dose of Golden Brown And Delicious appearing there. Don’t forget to let it rest a couple of minutes before eating it.

    And there you have it – Scotland’s rustic sausage, Lorne. No casings needed.

    OPTIONAL INGREDIENT – add 1/4 tsp pink salt / Prague Powder #1 to the spice blend. This will keep the meat the pink colour I associate with Lorne, but don’t use it if you don’t have it. Concentrate on Golden Brown and Delicious!

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    Posted on January 24, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Now that I have made you recoil in terror, here is how to make Scotland’s national sausage with ingredients available in the US.

    Yes, I called it a sausage, because that’s what it is!


  • meat grinder
  • vacuum sealer
  • vacuum bag
  • sous vide setup OR large lidded pot

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2lb steel cut (pinhead) oats
  • 1 cup broth or stock (chicken or veg)
  • 1lb lard or suet
  • 3lb lamb, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1.25 to 2.5 tbsp salt *to taste
  • 1 tsbp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • Cook the onion in the butter over medium-low heat till soft and the sharp onion smell has dissipated. Add in the oats, stir the oats into the butter and cook briefly. Add the stock, bring back to a boil. Add the lard or suet, heat just till melted. Add the salt and the spices and stir to combine. Set this to one side to cool while you move on to the grinding.

    Grind the lamb on coarse grind into a large bowl. Once all the lamb is ground, add the ground beef into the bowl. Pour the mixed oats, stock, and spices into the same bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands until it all comes together in a sticky mess.

    Transfer the sticky mess to a vacuum sealer bag. Vacuum seal according to instructions.

    Set your sous vide to 180F / 82C. Cook on sous vide for 3 hours. If you don’t have sous vide, use a large pot on the stove, bring the water to a simmer (180F to 190F, 82C / 87C). Simmer for 3 hours, topping up the water as needed.

    Allow the haggis to sit at room temperature for the duration of the Ode To A Haggis and serve with mashed potatoes and neeps (mashed, boiled turnips, or if you prefer, roast parsnips instead if you don’t like turnips).

    If you would like to add some of the offal flavour you can substitute 1lb calf’s liver for the ground beef. You should be aware that some people might prefer to not know about this addition…!

    Don’t forget the whisky!

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    Yorkshire Polony

    Posted on September 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    First things first: no, this is not a recipe for Baloney / Bologna / etc. This is for Yorkshire Polony, a mild cooked sausage from Yorkshire, NE England.

    You will need some special equipment here: a meat grinder, a sausage stuffer, and inedible fibre sausage casings.

    In this ingredient list I will give you percentages of ingredients rather than weight.

  • Lean Pork 100.00%
  • Pork fat 33.33%
  • Cold water 20.00%
  • Rice Flour 13.33%
  • Rusk 13.33%
  • Salt 3.32%
  • White Pepper 1.03%
  • Ground Mace 0.41%
  • Ground Coriander 0.21%
  • Ground Nutmeg 0.21%
  • Ground Cinnamon OR ginger 0.10%
  • All the ingredients are listed as a percentage of the weight of the pork. This makes sure that all the ingredients are in proportion, and you already have a set of digital kitchen scales, don’t you?

    In the case of the mace, this is a difficult and expensive spice to find, so I just add its weight to the weight of the nutmeg and use previously ground nutmeg instead (the kind you buy in the spice aisle of your grocery store). The spice fade will allow the nutmeg to present in a more mace-ish way rather than pungent nutmeg.

    Blend the rusk, rice flour, and water, and place in the fridge for 1 hour before you progress to the next step. If you have made your own rusk, keep a couple of chunks of dry rusk back for the end of the grinding process. Place the meat grinder into your freezer at this time so it can get super cold.

    Cut the pork according to directions on your meat grinder then grind the pork using the finest grinder setting into a very cold bowl.

    Grind the fat into the pork, similarly cut according to instructions. If you kept some dry rusk back, run this through the grinder now as this will help clean out the remnants from the grinder – this just helps with cleanup.

    Add all the salt and the ground spices to the ground meat and fat.

    Add the soaked rusk and flour to the above.

    Work the mix thoroughly with your hands until it all comes together in a sticky mess – this takes a while, probably 5 to 15 minutes to be decisively vague! You will know you have the right texture when it is a huge old sticky mess that won’t fall off your hands. If you’d like to see what this looks like, Scott Rea has a fantastic sausage making tutorial on Youtube.

    Place the sausage mix into your fridge and thoroughly chill for an hour. While this is chilling, put your sausage stuffer into the fridge as well. In sausage making, “keep it frosty” is your motto 🙂 Place your fibre sausage casings into warm water at this time, according to the instructions with the casings.

    While this is all cooling down, set up your largest stock pot or sous vide system with lots of water. You are looking for a temperature of 175f/80c.

    Stuff the casings with a generous amount of stuffing. You want them full, but don’t stuff them rigid, you need to allow some room for expansion while cooking. If you leave a generous space at the end of the casing (a half inch to an inch?), you should be OK.

    (Once all the casings are stuffed, you may have a little of the sausagemeat left over. If you have a frying pan this isn’t a problem…. yum.)

    Tie off the casings and place in your stock pot / sous vide container. Cook for 90 minutes. Pull out the casings and place directly into a bowl full of ice water to crash cool the sausage. Once thoroughly cooled, place in your fridge. Allow the polony to sit at least overnight before you break into it.

    Cut off however many slices you want and gently fry in butter till golden brown and delicious. Serve as part of a full English breakfast, or make it into a sandwich, or just eat it with knife and fork. Or fingers. I won’t judge you 😉


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