Introduction: Haggis Pops

Picture of Haggis Pops

Delightful parcels of sheep innards on a stick!

It's that time of the year again. We've put up with the misery of having to eat turkey and potatoes and chocolate and candy throughout the winter holidays, but now we can finally breathe a sigh of relief and tuck into that one meal we wait all year for: haggis.

Yes, with Burns Night fast approaching you'll no doubt be wanting to boil up some delicious haggis for your loved ones. If you're a traditionalist, you'll obviously want to catch and cook your own wild haggis, but here I'll provide the complete recipe for making mini-haggises from scratch at home. Of course, you can also use this same recipe to make a full-sized adult haggis by changing the serving size in the last step.

So grab your offal, don your Tam O' Shanter and get ready to stuff yourself till a' your weel-swall'd kytes belyve* are bent like drums.

*Your well-swollen bellies, by and by.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make your haggisicles:

  • The heart, lungs and liver of a sheep (also known as the sheep's pluck)
  • 200g of suet (chilled lard or vegetable shortening will also work)
  • 300g oats
  • 2 onions (some people might argue with the authenticity of having vegetables inside a haggis, but no true Scotsman is afraid of a wee onion)
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried crushed coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Sheep stomach to hold it all (see below).

I'm sure you'll be able to find all of these things at your local supermarket/butcher/abbatoir. If you're making a single haggis, a single stomach will suffice to hold all of the ingredients; just make sure it doesn't have any holes. If you're making haggis pops, you'll have an offal lot more surface area to cover so you'll need three or four stomachs.

Also useful:

  • String / thread
  • Ping pong ball or boiled egg for forming the haggis pop shapes
  • Ribbon for decoration
  • Little sticks for mounting the haggis pops on and brandishing in the faces of your foes

Step 2: Prepare the Stomach

Picture of Prepare the Stomach

First of all, you need to prepare your stomach. In many senses of the phrase. Get ready to make a mess.

You'll soon notice that the inside of a sheep's stomach is a bit dirty, covered with sticky tufts of partially digested grass. As the contents of digestive tracts go, this is actually reasonably edible. It's still something of an acquired taste, so you'll probably want to remove as much of it as possible. Scrape it off with a sharp knife, taking the inner layer of the stomach off with it. Be careful not to rip through the entire wall of the stomach.

Clean the stomach as thoroughly as possible, scald it in boiling water for a few minutes, then leave it in a pot of cold brine overnight.

Step 3: Ready the Pluck

Picture of Ready the Pluck

Mmmm, pluck. This is one of the prettiest cuts of offal you're likely to come across. Take a moment to admire its beauty. If the lungs are intact, try inflating them by using a drinking straw to blow into the bronchi. I promise you it's worth it. By inflating and deflating the lungs, you'll really get an appreciation for the elegant fractal nature of these delicate structures.

Anyway, cut them up into tiny bits. Remove any large lumps of hard fat around the heart.

Step 4: A Note on Cartilage Tubes

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While you're cutting up the lungs, try to remove the larger, tougher airways. These will become little bits of gristle if you leave them in the haggis.

Step 5: Boil It Up

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Put the sliced pluck in a large pot of cold water. Don't worry about the lung floating to the surface - the chunks should be small enough that they'll still cook thoroughly.

Cover, bring to the boil and let simmer for about an hour. That may seem like a long time, but traditional haggis recipes call for the pluck to be boiled whole for several hours; by dicing it first we've shaved hours off the cooking time. However Scotland's relationship to the United Kingdom might change, never let it be said that Scotland and England don't share a proud culinary tradition of boiling everything into rubbery oblivion.

Drain the liquid from the cooked pluck, setting it aside to use as stock later. Rinse the pluck under cold water in a sieve.

Step 6: More Cutting and Mixing

Picture of More Cutting and Mixing

Cut the pluck into even finer pieces, then mix it with the oats, suet and spices. Work these together with your hands as you gradually add stock back into the mixture. Keep adding stock until the mixture takes on a malleable, doughy consistency.

Step 7: Fill Your Stomach!

Picture of Fill Your Stomach!

Now it's time to wrap up your meaty mixture inside a layer of stomach. If you're making a single haggis, stuff all of the mixture into one stomach and sew it up.

If you're making haggis pops, take a ping pong ball or a boiled egg and wrap a section of stomach lining tight around it. Tie a piece of string around it to mark off how much stomach you'll need, then cut the stomach a couple of inches below the string. Err on the side of too much stomach rather than too little.

Untie the string, remove the ball/egg and re-stuff the little parcel with the cooked offal/oat mixture. Squeeze the parcel shut again with one hand and re-tie the string with the other. Ask someone for help here, as this is rather tricky to do single-handedly. I ended up with a mouth full of slimy string and bits of stomach as I tried to tie the knots while holding the parcel together.

Make sure the string is tight and allow for some slippage around the knot. Be sure not to pack the parcels too full, or they'll burst as the oats swell.

Step 8: Raw Pops

Picture of Raw Pops

At this point, if you're making haggis pops, you should have created a small pile of tiny raw haggises. You will probably be able to form nine or ten haggis pops from the lining of a single sheep stomach. Look at how the texture varies from pop to pop - that change in structure reflects the difference in function between the various chambers of the ruminant stomach. Neat, isn't it?

To finish cooking the haggis pops, boil them in water for another 90 minutes, or until the oats are fully swollen and you're happy with the squishiness of the stomach linings.

If you're cooking a single large haggis, let it simmer for three hours rather than 90 minutes.

Step 9: Gie Her a Haggis!

Picture of Gie Her a Haggis!

Drain and rinse your haggis pops, decorate them as you see fit and present them to your guests steaming hot. If possible, serve them up with a traditional peaty haggis wine, such as a Laphroaig or an Ardbeg.


Macbeth004 (author)2016-05-02

it sounds delicious

sandyparas (author)2015-09-29

Its Amazing

allenpeter (author)2015-06-20


MokshJadhav (author)2015-04-13


dworley (author)2015-02-09

I knew this was yours before I looked at the name. The little bow ties, man, they are adorable? I'm not sure that's the right word. They offset the know what I'm going to go look at boats.

yoowin (author)2015-02-04

But you don't eat the sheep's stomach: it's just a bag for boiling it in. You scoop the haggis out afterwards.

PowellMade (author)2015-02-03

This takes guts to make!!

sobeeya (author)2015-02-02

I can't eat it

sharon.miller (author)2015-01-29

I'm American, and I tried haggis while in Scotland over the summer and really liked it. I'm a bit picky, but it was like delicious crumbly sheep sausage. I didn't have it with the stomach, though, and I'm not sure how I'd manage with that.

BUT these lil guys are adorable, and if I maybe some day I'll rustle up the ingredients and give it a shot.

Tecwyn Twmffat (author)2015-01-28

Truly disgusting - I love it!

spark master (author)2015-01-25

I kinna think of a more revolting instructable

ust say'n

The Scottish people have a proud history of revolting.

I get the Braveheart thing...but well, I watched a you tube video of a guy making it (somewhere in the UK), his wis wife returns. The shrieking and wailing over the aroma (stench) in the house was terrific.

Now If I were truly starving I would no doubt enjoy a steaming slab of haggis,,,,,,, but the operative words are, truly starving.

Me mum tried to get me to eat fried liver with onions peppers and American Bacon, when I was a kid. And my parents were food Nazi's..

But Haggis on a stick.... should give them out at Halloween here in the states... It would be the "trick" of course....

Viva the revolution, and Dean will always be the only James Bond!

Oh and you guys make some very fine Whiskey! After enough you can eat the Haggis! Chcuckle

puggirl415 (author)2015-01-27

Surprisingly cute and adorable. You make them look offal good:()

The Rambler (author)2015-01-23

I just had haggis at an early Burns Night celebration my brother and his wife threw last night! I'll have to share this recipe with them in case they want to up their game next year.

PenfoldPlant (author)The Rambler2015-01-27

Let me know how it goes!

The Rambler (author)PenfoldPlant2015-01-27

So, they didn't go for it. I think something about the amount of effort combined with the stomach. I guess they'll just keep ordering haggis sans stomach (they found some Scottish Bakery here in the states that's allowed to distribute it). I have to say that your hilarious pun responses in the comments are as entertaining, if not more so, than the instructable itself.

mic.robertson.7 (author)2015-01-25

you are not doing that to MY Haggis!

Interesting idea. If you are using dog instead of sheep for this recipe, be aware that the canine stomach is monogastric so you're unlikely to see the same range of surface texture that you'd find in a ruminant stomach. Also, dog stomachs have a subglandular layer of fibroblasts which produce extra collagen to support the stomach lining. This protects the stomach against damage from eating bones, but makes dog haggis somewhat chewier than traditional haggis.

But please don't let that deter you! Let me know how it goes :-)

ct70 (author)2015-01-26

Really? ?

PenfoldPlant (author)ct702015-01-27


sabechamp (author)2015-01-25

I can just picture a vendor selling Haggis Pops in a Food Truck at local parks and arenas. Bagpipes playing thru the speakers. A different twist to the old ice cream truck. Get yer Haggis on.

Careful about how loud ye be sayin' that, there's many scots as might take it as a challenge! ;-)

Can you think of a better way to introduce folks to Scots cuisine than small sample size portions? I think this would be a hit at the Highland Games held in various communities. While haggis may be well known, there are many other dishes folks could be introduced to.
Come for the games.
Stay for the food.

PenfoldPlant (author)sabechamp2015-01-27

Something about "Scots cuisine" and "small portions" doesn't make sense to me... I love the food truck idea, though!

Ladycartoonist (author)2015-01-26

I would eat them. Can I deep fry them?

That would make it extra-Scottish!

PHEONIXFOX24 (author)2015-01-22

I nearly puked when I saw thd ingredients... WHO LIKES HAGGIS?

Honestly, as far as offal dishes go, there's not much inside haggis that should be too off-putting to your typical meat-eater.

Heart muscle is a type of striated muscle, much like any "normal" cut of meat. Lungs don't have a particularly strong taste compared to other cuts of offal (e.g. tripe, kidneys), and their unusual texture is destroyed during the mixing and cooking. Liver is more of an acquired taste, but it's mainstream enough that most people aren't too bothered by the idea of eating it in pâté or fried with onions.

Really, the stomach around the outside is the only part that's likely to challenge your tastebuds (by which I mean it might not taste like the meat you are used to), and you can leave that on stick if you're scared of it.

Honestly, most of the world has no issue with organ meats, it's mostly in the US that the majority of people seem to go "eeew!" without tasting. As with anything else, haggis can be poorly prepared, and that's a bad day for everyone involved (just like if a chicken breast gets screwed up). But when prepared with even moderate care, haggis is delicious!

So please, be nice to our haggis, and to the writer of the 'ible.

gecko_girl3 (author)PHEONIXFOX242015-01-25

I don't see it being any different than pate, liverwurst, menudo or tacos de lungua, all of which I've tried, all of which were absolutely delicious. Like with all cuts of meat, it's how you prepare & cook them that makes all the difference.

Taranach (author)PHEONIXFOX242015-01-25

Hae nae lass, dinna be insultin' me haggis!!! They may not look like much but it is the flavor that rocks it off the charts!!


forgault (author)PHEONIXFOX242015-01-23

I do

narneson (author)PHEONIXFOX242015-01-23

A lot of people, it's been prepared and eaten for thousands of years by most peoples ancestors just in different variations. It must be good to have survived this long, If anything the question should be WHO DOESN'T LIKE HAGGIS?

AGelatt (author)2015-01-26

Even though you did a nice job, they are still up there next to rocky mountain oysters on my NO list. :-)

PenfoldPlant (author)AGelatt2015-01-27

Aww, nuts.

phenoptix (author)2015-01-26

They look wonderfully disgusting. A beautiful and informative instructable! Thank you.

PenfoldPlant (author)phenoptix2015-01-27

Thanks - I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

randomhand (author)2015-01-23

Nice try! Very convincing but no-one believes you, you have to catch the haggis in the highlands, skin it and roast it over a fire.


Nice work, how tough is the skin when on a pop?

silkier (author)randomhand2015-01-25

They got that wrong. Where I come from the wild Haggis have legs on one side shorter than the legs on the other, this is so they can graze efficiently on steep hillsides. The surefire way to catch a wild Haggis is to chase it until it turns in the opposite direction and thereby rolls down the hill. It's useful either to use a net on the downhill side or have an accomplice ready to catch the rolling Haggis.

Love Haggis, can't get it here in Greece, have to make do with Kokoretsi.

randomhand (author)silkier2015-01-26

Kokoretsi is delicious (but only when cooked properly). You should do an instructable !

Om nom nom

PenfoldPlant (author)randomhand2015-01-27

I'd never heard of kokoretsi before, but it looks delicious! My mouth is watering at the thought of it.

And while I agree that hunting and skinning a wild haggis is the only truly authentic way to prepare this dish, we have to face the fact that they're fast becoming an endangered species. Already some people who didn't grow up around haggises don't even believe that they still exist in the wild. This recipe was meant as an eco-friendly way to let people try the flavour of mini-haggis without having to remove haggislings from the waning haggis population.

The skin toughness varied from pop to pop, most likely according to the thickness of the section of stomach used. It's probably not a bad idea to strip a few layers from the inside of the thicker sections while you're washing them, making them less rubbery later on.

Pat_Maroney (author)2015-01-25

This looks delicious. I'm a culinary school grad and not squeamish about food, give me a roasted pig or fish head and I'm a happy diner, I'll eat just about anything that casts a shadow. Coincidentally, I made shepherds pie for dinner tonight, this recipe would be amazing with some thyme and garlic. Thank you for sharing this, I've always wondered about haggis but never learned how to prepare pluck.

PenfoldPlant (author)Pat_Maroney2015-01-27

Thanks, Pat! If you do try this recipe out, please let me know how it turns out. I always enjoy getting reports back on Instructables in action.

divadg123 (author)2015-01-25

That looks so nasty yet really delicious

PenfoldPlant (author)divadg1232015-01-27

Pretty much :)

boocat (author)2015-01-25

Fantastic! Tonight's the night!!

PenfoldPlant (author)boocat2015-01-27

How did it go??

gdyer1 (author)2015-01-25

Brilliant! Love it!

About This Instructable




Bio: Artist in Residence at Pier 9, currently exploring a vast array of new tools with which to injure myself.
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