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How To Cook A Haggis

Being Scottish through and through, I’m often asked how to cook a haggis.  If you can stomach this popular dish, then you may find you really do like it.  Haggis is usually a little spicy with a mealy texture.

Traditionally, a haggis was made up of the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or lamb, with oats, suet, herbs and spices added to it.  Originally, haggis would have been cooked in the sheep or lamb stomach, but these days, the casings are usually artificial and quite like the skin of a sausage.   There are also vegetarian options for those who cannot stomach the meaty variety.

Most of us will buy our haggis pre-cooked and we are essentially just reheating, but you can also make your own.

Macsween Haggis

1  Heating up a Pre-Cooked Haggis

There is no real right or wrong way to reheat an already cooked haggis, which is what you will usually get from a shop.

Slow Cooking

I slow cooked haggis last year with a baked potato to go with ours, and they can also be boiled or roasted.   The beauty of a haggis is that it’s already cooked before it gets to you, so you really do just need to heat it up thoroughly.

On The Hob

In a pan on the hob, all you need to do is wrap the haggis in tin foil and put it in a big pan with plenty cold water.  The water needs heated to simmering point and left for approximately 100 minutes per kilo.  You really don’t want your haggis to be in water that is boiling and severely bubbling away, or the skin is very likely to burst on you.


In the oven, simply wrap the haggis in tin foil with a little water.   Put it in an oven dish with a heat of around 180 – 190 C for around an hour.  Most haggis will come with instructions on the pack for how to get the best out of your wee rubgy shaped ball of haggis.

To Serve

Just drain the water off, open the haggis skin and fluff up the haggis with a fork while you serve it up.

2  Cooking a Haggis From Scratch

Choose your meat, chop it into small pieces or mince it, add spices like cayenne pepper, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.  You add the spices that you like.  If you make your own, you can also add extra ingredients like onions for more flavour.

  • Sheeps stomach.
  • Heart liver and lungs of a lamb or sheep.  Some people use pig products.
  • 2 finely chopped onions.
  • 10 ounces of oatmeal.
  • Tablespoon of salt.
  • Water
  • Your chosen spices.  Approximately a teaspoon of each.

What To Do

  • Pre clean a sheep stomach, turn it inside out and soak it overnight in cold salted water.
  • Boil the heart, liver and lungs until fully cooked.  Keep the water the meat has been cooked in.
  • Mince or very finely chop and mash the
  • Mix the meat with the oatmeal, onions and spices.
  • Spoon the mixture into the stomach pouch and seal it up.  I’ve heard of people using needle and thread to do this, but any way of sealing it will be fine.   Pierce the pouch a few times to let steam escape.  I’ve heard of people using muslin squares instead of a stomach pouch or artificial casing, but I’ve not seen the results of that and have no idea how well it would work.
  • Put the haggis in the stomach pouch into a big pan with cold water and add the water the meat was cooked in.   Bring it to a low boil and simmer for 2 – 3 hours to allow the spices to flavour the meat.


7 thoughts on “How To Cook A Haggis

  1. Hamiltons of Biggar make really good ones. We had some while staying with a crowd nearby on New Year’s Eve and then went and bought 4 big ones to bring home to London.

    1. I’d have thought haggis could be bought in London by now, especially with online butchers? How was it?


  2. Hi im from northeast of england and tried haggis for the 1st time last night at a robbie burns night event, and what a brilliant time i had watching my friends in the portlethen band and having the most traditional dish of scotland, tatties, neeps and haggis. What i would like to no is where to buy the best quality haggis, i have seen them in many supermarkets but im just wondering if its better buying from a butcher. Please help as i would love to take 1 home to introduce my family to this traditional beauty. Thanks

  3. oh eats the proper stuff, I only do the veggie option, dont do offal of any description

    1. I tend to eat temhe veggie kind with my littlest and the rest of the family usually have a McSweens. I’ve not made a veggie version myself yet, though I plan giving it a go.

  4. I love haggis… Never made it myself but it is yum!

    1. I’ve made it using a sausage skin but never with a sheep stomach.

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