Could Reindeer Sausage be the next Haggis?
I recently returned from a trip to Scotland where I watched my husband, John Hall Jr., consume copious amounts of the Scottish traditional dish called Haggis. For those of you who are not familiar, I am providing the Wikipedia definition which describes it oh so perfectly!
“Haggis is a dish containing sheep‘s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), mince with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach.” YUM!
Despite the ingredients, John fell in love with Haggis and ordered it at hotels, pubs, fine dining establishments and golf club eateries all over Scotland.
Once back in the USA and confined to my office stall, I reflected upon his new addiction and remembered the buckets of reindeer sausage I frequently consumed on my trips to Alaska. I had ordered it at bathroom stops, hotels, bars and B&B’s. It was everywhere.
Currently Alaska’s most traditional dish is considered to be jellied or boiled Moose Nose. Not kidding. No lie. Here’s a recipe for it from justgamerecipes.com:
1 Upper jawbone of a moose
1 Onion; sliced
1 Garlic clove
1 tb Mixed pickling spice
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
1/4 c Vinegar
Cut the upper jaw bone of the moose just below the eyes. Place in a large kettle of scalding water and boil for 45 minutes. Remove and chill in cold water. Pull out all the hairs – these will have been loosened by the boiling and should come out easily (like plucking a duck). Wash thoroughly until no hairs remain. Place the nose in a kettle and cover with fresh water. Add onion, garlic, spices and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the meat is tender. Let cool overnight in the liquid.
When cool, take the meat out of the broth, and remove and discard the bones and the cartilage. You will have two kinds of meat, white meat from the bulb of the nose, and thin strips of dark meat from along the bones and jowls. Slice the meat thinly and alternate layers of white and dark meat in a loaf pan. Reheat the broth to boiling, then pour the broth over the meat in the loaf pan. Let cool until jelly has set. Slice and serve cold.
Though I consider myself to be a foodie, Jellied Moose Nose is not a dish I am lining up to try. Just like Haggis, the ingredients are somewhat frightening!
Fortunately, the average Alaska visitor or resident will not be able to find Jellied Moose Nose included on the menu at their hotel bar or local hangout. Though they will find reindeer sausage on the menu and plenty of it!
Its delicious- its popular-
Reindeer Sausage should be the traditional dish of Alaska!
Reindeer Sausage is an entrée item to be eaten and remembered. As John Jr returned home and shared his love of Haggis with his small town buddies, so will reindeer sausage be talked about by our returning Alaska travelers.
So, this November, when you get handed a political bumper sticker by a grass roots community organizer, hand them back your own slogan!
Make 2011 the “Year of the Sausage!”
If you plan on visiting Alaska to consume your share of this authentic Alaskan treat, you can buy some to take home with you at Alaska Sausage & Seafood.