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Venison Haggis - South Georgia Style

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 02:25
by Butterbean
This may not be for the faint of heart but for those who enjoy deer hunting I encourage you to try this because if you aren't already doing this you are missing out on some really extraordinary eating.

I will say this is not a certified Scottish Haggis recipe - you can find that on the net if you wish. However, this is done in the spirit of the Scottish Haggis only with a Cajun twist coupled with a South Georgia twist and I think if you give it a go you'll find its well worth the effort.

To begin with, I had planned to make some haggis using the heart and liver and lights but my daughter's boyfriend shot the deer in the shoulder rather than the neck or head where I'd hoped and this messed up my ingredients. With my needle stuck on haggis I tweaked a recipe and it is as follows and its in the spirit of haggis. Also, if you don't have something I used I encourage you to not get hung up on the recipe just follow the procedure and you'll be fine.

The first step is removing the stomach to clean it. This isn't as bad as it sounds since the stomach only contains the chewed browse the deer consumed and does not have a foul odor to it.

Stomach removed and you can see what's left of the heart on the left.


Once the stomach is removed find the openings and trim any attachments off. Next just squeeze out the chewed grass and turn the stomach inside out and rinse well with a water hose picking off any attached fat.

Next soak the stomach in two quarts of cold water to which you've added 4 TBS of bakiing soda and 1/2 cup vinegar and let it soak in this overnight in the fridge.

In the morning you will find the hairy lining of the stomach will peel right off just like the hairs on a scalded pig and you will be left with a beautiful casing suitable for many things. Rinse it a few times in cold water and use it turned inside out - hairy side out.

Cleaned stomach


The preparation from here is two steps. I'll try and keep these separated as best I can.

First the filling. Don't get hung up on trying to follow my ingredients to a T because the whole purpose of haggis is to make use of what you have. Just keep the ratio's about right and you will create a work of art.

Ingredients for Stage 1 Step 1

1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced garlic
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2.5 lbs ground beef
2.5 lbs venison Italian sausage

Ingredients for Stage 1 Step 2

1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat butter over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add ground meats. Continue to cook until meat is well browned and separated, about 45 minutes.

Once browned, add bread crumbs, eggs, green onions and parsley. Cook an additional 3 minutes and season to taste using salt and cracked black pepper.

Your stuffing will look like this. Taste to be sure your spices are right. Set aside to cool some. I transferred mine to another bowl since you need the dutch oven again.


Ingredients for Stage 2

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 small sliced onions
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup diced garlic
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

By now the filling should be cooled some. Tie off any holes in the stomach with butchers twine and a bubble knot leaving the largest to spoon the filling into. Spoon the filling into the stomach and fill completely. Once filled you just need to tie off the last opening KEEPING IN MIND THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO STUFF IT AS TIGHT AS A SAUSAGE ELSE IT WILL BURST. Leave a little play is all I can say since the bread and the egg will expand during the simmer.

Once transferred to another vessel heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and mushrooms approximately 2 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.

Add the haggis and brown well on all sides. Add chicken stock, bring to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover dutch oven and allow chaudin to cook approximately 1 hour turning occasionally. Season to taste using salt and cayenne pepper. Once cooked, slice into 1/2-inch slices and serve with natural sauce.

Haggis cooked and ready to eat.


Plated with some mashed potatoes and kale with Tasso ham is a really beautiful meal and all grown within a few yards of the kitchen. BTW - this gravy is outstanding. Almost makes you want to filter it and stick it in your arm with a needle. :wink:


Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 04:10
by Aaron
Shoot me up Scottie!! :mrgreen:

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 16:52
by Bob K
It really looks delicious Butterbean!

But having punctured more that a few deer stomachs in my time the low odor comment had me LMAO :lol: Maybe its the northern browse.

Do you soak in the vinegar solution and then add the baking soda? The baking soda would neutralize the vinegar solution. Fiz Fiz

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 17:44
by redzed
Butterbean, I have never tried haggis of any kind, but would certainly sit down to a table with your version. You take top grades for utilizing almost everything from wild game. Few hunters do that.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 18:17
by Butterbean
Bob K wrote:But having punctured more that a few deer stomachs in my time the low odor comment had me LMAO :lol: Maybe its the northern browse.

Do you soak in the vinegar solution and then add the baking soda? The baking soda would neutralize the vinegar solution. Fiz Fiz
Bob, I think you are referring to the abomasum or possibly the omasum. It is a vile place for sure but a deer is an ungulate and has a compartmentalized stomach broken down to a rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomosum. The first three are not true stomachs and contain no HCl and no pepsin. The contents of the rumen is just chewed browse. The abomasum is a vile place containing bile which will turn your stomach. If you keep your cuts away from the abomasum it is not bad at all.


The solution does fizz. I don't understand the chemistry of how this works but the interior of the rumen is filled with hairy things called papillae and this solution causes it to become unglued from the wall of the casing and after its soaked it comes right off. I doubt in the day it really mattered if it was left on since you turn the casing inside out but its removal makes it look better for sure.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 18:24
by Butterbean
Here is the fizz you mention. You can see the papilla to the right of the bucket. Its greenish color just isn't appealing.


Casing with papilla removed


At the price of some of the larger casings I think this could be well worth the trouble to clean a few and collect them. Am thinking it would be a great casing for coppa or bresolla.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 18:53
by IdaKraut

I always look forward to your recipes and suggestions. You have again exceeded my expectations with this recipe. Sure wish I saved the deer parts needed from this year's hunt. Will know better next time.

Every recipe you have posted has always been superb and I will save this one for sure. I appreciate your participation in this forum. Thank you.

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 20:24
by Butterbean
Thanks Ida, feelings mutual. I learn a lot here as well. Be thankful I don't post my many train wrecks.

We eat a lot of venison and I like to try and give as much respect to the animal as possible and use as much as I can. There are some good meats in this fifth quarter which are normally thrown away and I think that's a shame. With the increasing cost of casings and the ease at which these parts can be cleaned its a pity not to use them. Afterall, this is what the craft was all about I think.

I believe you will find this well worth the effort if you give it a try. I can honestly say the combination of these spices and ingredients made for one of the best meals I've had in years.