Gie Her a Haggis! (Vintage Recipes for the Holiday)

“Her” being Scotland. Labor Day doesn’t have to be about barbecues. Stand out from the crowd and trot this mouth-watering dish out for your Labor Day guests. Just make sure that your haggis bag is perfectly clean!

Haggis

Clean a sheep’s pluck thoroughly. Make incisions in the heart and liver to allow the blood to flow out, and parboil the whole, letting the wind-pipe lie over the side of the pot to permit the phlegm and blood to disgorge from the lungs; the water may be changed after a few minutes’ boiling for fresh water. A half-hour’s boiling will be sufficient; but throw back the half of the liver to boil till it will grate easily; take the heart, the half of the liver, and part of the lights [lungs], trimming away all skins and black-looking parts, and mince them together. Mince also a pound of good beef-suet and four onions. Grate the other half of the liver. Have a dozen of small onions peeled and scalded in two waters to mix with this mince. Toast some oatmeal before the fire for hours, till it is of a light-brown colour and perfectly dry. Less than two tea-cupfuls of meal will do for this quantity of meat. Spread the mince on a board, and strew the meal lightly over it, with a high seasoning of pepper, salt, and a little cayenne, well mixed. Have a haggis-bag perfectly clean, and see that there be no thin part in it, else your whole labour will be lost by its bursting. Some cooks use two bags. Put in the meat with a half-pint of good beef-gravy, or as much strong broth, as will make it a thick stew. Be careful not to fill the bag too full, but allow the meat room to swell; add the juice of a lemon, or a little good vinegar; press out the air, and sew up the bag; prick it with a large needle when it first swells in the pot, to prevent bursting; let it boil slowly for three hours if large.

We’ve saved the best for last. Provenance uncertain — either English or Colonial American. Just remember to “stop the pot close that he lep [leap] not out.”

To Mak a Freshe Lamprey Bake

To bak a freche lamprey tak and put a quyk [live] lamprey in a pot put ther to a porcyon of red wyne then stop the pot close that he lep [leap] not out and when he is dyinge tak him and put hym in skaldinge water then tak hym in your hands with alyn clothe and a handful of hay in the tother hand and strik hym so that the skyn go away and saue him hole then weshe hym and cut hym out whart a straw brod from the naville so that the stringe be lowse, then slitt hym a litill at the throt and tak out the string and kep the blode in a vesselle and it be a femal thrust in your hand from the naville upwards so that the spawn com out there as ye tak out the stringe and ye will boile it slat it a littill in the same place within that ye may cum and lowse the bone with a prik from the fische and brek it a litill from the hed and slit hym a litill from the taille then put the prik between the bone and the fische and drawe the bone from the taille as esly as ye may that it cum out all hole from the taile then wind the bone about thy finger and drawe it out softly for breking and so ye shall tak it out hole then cope the lamprey o thwart the bak eury pece iij fingers brode and let them hold to gedure and toile them welle in the blod, and ye will mak your galentyn of crust of white bred cut it in schyves and toiste it on a gredirne (gridiron) that it be somdelle broun and tak a quart of good red wyne for the baking of the lamprey and put the bred there in and drawe it and mak it not chargaunt and ye may grind a few of raisins and mak it up there with and let the fyft part be venygar put ther to pouder of cannelle a gretdele, pouder galingale pouder Lombard pouder of guinger sugur saffron and salt and let it be tweene braun and yallowe and mak thy colour of sanders then mak a large coffin of pured floure and put thy lamprey ther in and put in the galentyn that it stand as highe as the lamprey and let it haue a good lide and wet the bredes round about and lay it in the coffin and close it round about to the pen for ye must haue a pen between the lidd and coffyne to blow the pen that the lid may rise welle and luck the ovene be hoot and set it in to it.

Let us know in the comments section how your guests liked these dishes!