Hack Pudding before the boil

In looking over historical recipes, I found the grand-daddy to the beloved Christmas Pud. It sounds a bit better than haggis  because of the ingredients but the principal of making it  is the same . I can tell you I DONOT like haggis. It has to be an acquired taste. I had the real thing at St. Andrews. Back around the turn of the century, I went there with my Austria chef friend who designed the restaurants of Chateau Elan/St. Andrews. (Quoth the coaches around the lunch table, “You went to St. Andrews and you don’t even play golf?? Damn, that’s like throwing pearls before swine!”) I was only there for 3 days but while there I made a point of ordering haggis. How could one go to Scotland and not eat what amounts to a national culinary treasure? It’s like going to Louisville, KY, and not having Burgoo (” What the hell is THAT?? Looks like someone puked in my plate, for Gosh sakes! It’s ALIVE!!!” ) Anyway, I came, I ate, I gagged!!! (No, Caesar didn’t quite say that before he crossed the Rubicon).

Hackin, aka Hack Pudding,  is the fore-runner to the Christmas Pudding. Some reports say that the Victorian Plum or Christmas Pudding is descended from a soup, a plumb pottage, but more probably it is descended from this, far more pudding like recipe … an Hackin. This dish is like a sweetened haggis, boiled, then sliced and fried in lard for Christmas breakfast. The recipe below is from 1763, but it is obvious that this is a well known, and much older dish, from the Cumbrian / Scottish borders.

My source is http://historicalfoods.com/374/hackin-recipe/

I’m copying the old receipt word for word. If you want the redacted version, click on the address and give it a try. This is a wonderful site and the recipes are very workable (I’ve tried several)

Original Directions On Making Hackin 1763

The following recipe is from Richard Bradley, The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director. London: 1736.


There are some Counties in England, whose Customs are never to be set aside and our Friends in Cumberland, as well as some of our Neighbours in Lancashire, and elsewhere, keep them up. It is a Custom with us every Christmas Day in the Morning, to have, what we call an Hackin, for the Breakfast of the young Men who work about our House; and if this Dish is not dressed by that time it is Day-light the Maid is led through the Town, between two Men, as fast as they can run with her up Hill and down Hill, which she accounts a great shame. But as for the Receipt to make this Hackin, which is admired so much by us, it is as follows.

Take the Bag or Paunch of a Calf, and wash it, and clean it well with Water and Salt; then take some Beef-Suet, and shred it small, and shred some Apples, after they are pared and cored, very small. Then put in some Sugar, and some Spice beaten small, a little Lemon-Peel cut very fine, and a little Salt, and a good quantity of Grouts, or whole Oat-meal, steep’d a Night in Milk; then mix these all together, and add as ma­ny Currans pick’d clean from the Stalks, and rubb’d in a coarse Cloth; but let them not be wash’d. And when you have all rea­dy, mix them together, and put them into the Calf’s-Bag, and tie them up, and boil them till they are enough. You may, if you will, mix up with the whole, some Eggs beaten, which will help to bind it. This is our Custom to have ready, at the open­ing of the Doors , on Christmas-Day in the Morning. It is esteem’d here; but all that I can say to you of it, is, that it eats somewhat like a Christmas-Pye, or is some­what like that boil’d. I had forgot to say, that with the rest of the Ingredients, there should be some Lean of tender Beef minced small.