A winter trip to Ottawa landed me in the butcher shop Glebe Meat Market, a throwback to times when butcher shops looked (and smelled) like this. Ground meat madam? Which cuts and how much? And off the butcher goes to grind it.
We called them the day before, to check on the availability of game meat. I was after venison meat for stew; had seen partridge and pheasant on their list as well as wild boar meat. They had it all, they said, and would keep it for us. Name please? And that was it. No phone number, email address, credit card and expiration date. Just the name and “we’ll see you tomorrow”. And the next day, of course they had our order ready.
Glebe Meat Market (the name sounds much larger than the corner shop really is) was established in 1920 and has been family-owned and operated ever since. Since almost hundred years ago, Glebe butchers and makes everything in-house, from stocks, liverwurst, sausages (at least 20 varieties) to—and quite surprised to see this on their list—haggis!
I’ve had haggis—that delectable Scottish offal creation—several times, including “stabbed” as part of Burns’ Night celebrations and one time in a bistro right by Edinburgh’s castle. Never did I have (or take) the opportunity to reheat the stuffed stomach, pierce it and see it spill its hearty meaty contents at home. I did now, with a haggis from this butcher in Ottawa.
Glebe’s haggis is perfect. It comes in a neatly and tightly packed stomach, tied at the end. It is full of flavor with a beautiful mix of ground meat and a pleasant chew of oats. It reheats very easily. At $17 for almost 2 pounds it was a steal of artisanal deliciousness that served the three of us amply. In fact, we had some left over!
Rather than the traditional ‘tatties and neeps’ (that I so unfortunately mispronounced one Scottish dinner as nappies and teets), I served mine with a roasted root (and bulbous) vegetable medley: celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, golden beet, kohlrabi and a new root (to me): parsley root!
Glebe Meat Market is located in Ottawa’s neighborhood The Glebe on 869 Bank Street. Get that haggis!
Haggis & Roasted Root Vegetable Fritters
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 egggs
- 1 cup milk (or enough to make a thick batter)
- 2 cups leftover roasted root vegetables (any medley you have), chopped fine
- 1 cup leftover haggis
- oil (to pan-fry the fritters)
Make the batter: put the flour and baking powder in a bowl and make a well. Add the eggs in the well and mix using a whisk, starting with the eggs and slowly incorporating all flour around. Start to add milk: little by little whisk it in until the batter is thick but drips from the whisk.
Leave batter to settle for about 30 minutes.
Add in the chopped vegetables and the haggis (no need to season further: flavor comes from the vegetables and haggis). Spoon through to mix well into the batter.
To fry: heat 1-2 tablespoons oil (I use avocado oil) in a wide frying pan. Test if the oil is hot by dropping a little batter: if it starts to sizzle, the pan is ready. Drop several spoonfuls without crowding the pan too much. Let cook for 1-2 minutes (medium heat) and then flip over to brown on the other side. The fritters are ready when you can press them without leaving a dent.
Proceed until all batter is finished. These make for a perfect snack, appetizer or main course with sides!