What is haggis made from? Larne butcher shares recipe for traditional Scottish dish ahead of Burns Night

One of Scotland’s best known national dishes, haggis often plays a starring role in Burns Night celebrations at the end of January each year. But what is in haggis, and how is it made? A family-owned butcher shop in Larne shared the recipe for the savoury dish.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

At Hodge’s Butchers in the Riverdale area of the town, haggis is made year-round, not just for Burns Night.

"We have a lot of a people from a Scottish background in Larne who would buy it,” said owner, Hugh Hodge.

“We use oatmeal, barley, onion, salt and pepper, and ‘rough meat’ like stewing beef although some people use sheep’s pluck (heart and liver).

Hugh Hodge of Hodge's Butchers in Larne said the savoury dish haggis is popular with customers year round.  Photo: National WorldHugh Hodge of Hodge's Butchers in Larne said the savoury dish haggis is popular with customers year round.  Photo: National World
Hugh Hodge of Hodge's Butchers in Larne said the savoury dish haggis is popular with customers year round. Photo: National World

"Traditionally it’s put into the sheep’s stomach, but artificial casing would be used as well for a smaller amount – for a family the sheep’s stomach would be far too big.”

The minced mixture is usually boiled in the casing, and is sold blanched to be cooked fully by the customer. “It’s time consuming to make, so you wouldn’t have a lot of people trying it at home,” Hugh added.

While the traditional accompaniments for haggis are often ‘neeps and tatties’ – turnips or swedes, and potatoes – it can be enjoyed in a variety of other ways.

Among the Thursday afternoon shoppers at Hodge’s Butchers was Larne resident Winifred McKee, who grew up eating haggis. “I buy it regularly; it’s gorgeous. My son loves it as well,” she added. “I would have it with potatoes or even a salad.”

With a taste similar to white pudding, the shop also sells separately the minced meat used in haggis, which is popular as a stuffing.

Related topics: