Haggis Dinner Part II
If you think you can stomach it, here’s a peak at the haggis dinner. You remember, the stuffed stomach a.k.a. National Scottish Dish? Here was my first peak at the beast!
I know it’s not as bad as you think, huh? I felt the same thing. Actually, it has become quite commercialized and you can buy pre-stuffed haggis nowadays in British grocery stores, ups! I mean supermarkets! Today haggis sold in supermarkets is not truly stuffed in real sheep’s stomachs. It’s more of a plastic.
Nonetheless, it was fantastic! Our haggis was made up of awful (abats in French) (organs like liver and maybe heart) and barley. The Whiskey Sauce was pure single malt whiskey (technically Scotch!) poured directly over the stuffing. It was a transformation totale.
We loved it! Pat, the ever thoughtful cook had prepared homemade bread, a true rarity in France. No one makes their own bread in France, except the bakers. She also had us started off with homemade sausage rolls (a British treasure); stuffed celery and little canapés of marinated fresh salmon and prawns (shrimp) with a little kick… horseradish sauce.
I have to mention here that it was absolutely a treat to watch the French guests (including my weathered Anglo-immersed husband) bite into the canapés, saver them, proceed to complement the chef on her chez d’oeuvre then receive the full kickback of the horseradish, an unexpected ingredient! Yes, you must understand that French cooking is anything up hot and spicy. Horseradish is uncommon if not foreign to them. While you can translate it into raifort in French, most French people do not cook with it on a regular or un-regular basis.
So what a treat it was to watch our French guests coughing and sputtering a bit when the horseradish kicked in. What an unexpected little aftertaste, n’est-ce pas?!
To round out the meal, Pat started us off with Cock-a-Leeky soup: translation chicken and leek (once real cock, now just a good boiling bird!). This is another Scottish tradition, or so we were informed. Served with a couple of dried prunes, it was an amazing combination of savory soup and sweet and tangy dried fruit. A refaire!
The haggis was served with mashed potatoes and parsnip and rutabaga purée. This lovely combination is the perfect match with the flavour of the whiskey sauce over stuffed stomach.
An array of English cheeses and crackers (cheese biscuits as the Brits called them) made their way around the table before the homemade Christmas pudding and brandy cream sauce were served. Never one to do it half way, Pat made her own puddings some time in the recent past. This particular one dates between 12 to 18 months old! A Christmas pudding takes several days to make but once steamed, it will keep for months or even years in (or not!) the freezer!
Christmas pudding must be steamed for a long time, then served a-flame, flambé Madame! Then served with a cream and brandy sauce (liquid cream, lots of sugar and whiskey!). It was a light finish to a gorgeous meal.
Tea, biscuits and brandies were our final farewell to a fabulous Scottish/British night.
And who saves British food isn’t good?!