It wasn't always easy, as the 25-year-old Australian chef Jesse Stevens, of Glasgow's Hanoi Bike Shop, discovered. "Vietnamese cuisine is based on the same ingredients as haggis, like lungs, hearts, livers and tripe, and they even have a soup that uses pig uterus, but they don't make haggis as a dish," he says.
Stevens consulted with a Vietnamese cook. "She had never heard of haggis before, but loved the idea of doing a Vietnamese version. I soon discovered that they think very kindly on the haggis."
He used Scottish venison lungs, heart, liver, mixed with onions and a range of Vietnamese herbs and spices, cooked together in a pan with a rich stock of beef pho.
Served warm as quenelles on chilled lettuce cups, it is soft and meaty, its hit of fiery chilli mitigated by toasted rice instead of the traditional oats. As a further nod to the traditional dish, the quenelles were dressed with pickled turnip and carrot matchsticks and drizzled with rice vinegar.
Served with dipping sauce nuoc cham - sugar, fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic and chilli - this Vietnamese-style haggis is vibrant, modern and progressive.
For Ben Reade of the Edinburgh Food Studio, who spent two years at the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen working alongside Rene Redzepi of Noma, my challenge was a no-brainer. Although he reckons haggis has its origins in Swedish cuisine, he made a large traditional Scottish version in front of 400 of the world's best chefs at last year's MAD symposium in Copenhagen. The theme that year was Guts, and Reade demonstrated graphically how haggis is "the iconic internal organ dish".
He had to smuggle in 70kg of fresh sheep sweetbreads from Scotland as it's illegal to sell them as food in Denmark. It was a huge success, but he reckons making your own haggis is an unnecessary hassle. So he devised his own personalised version, adding ancient Scots and Scandinavian ingredients to a locally-bought artisan haggis.
"There was a big Scottish tradition of using fruit, such as prunes from locally grown plums or damsons, in main dishes and this works well in haggis," he says. Soaking smoked blueberries in Scottish gin brings out the juniper flavour and adds a much more modern note. Roast bone marrow adds the essential fat. Lamb tongue tastes lovely and brings it up to date as it makes the dish truly nose to tail.
Although he rarely has horsemeat off his menu, Fred Berkmiller, French chef-patron of l'escargot blanc in Edinburgh, had never made horsemeat haggis before I asked him (though haggis, derived from the French hache, has its roots in French cuisine too). He sources his quality 100 per cent-traceable Comptois and Persheron horsemeat from Paris. It is very lean, so he found he needed to add fat to his recipe and chose high-quality beef suet as in the traditional recipe. (In any case, beef suet is making a comeback in contemporary cooking.) The addition of white pepper and pimento gives it a gentle kick and warms the palate nicely.
He was mindful to keep the recipe as simple as possible, so as not to confuse the tastebuds. "I think I have achieved a lean, clean haggis with texture and a long flavour," he says as we sample the first horsemeat haggis to appear in Scotland. I can only agree.
Kosher haggis, on the other hand, doesn't actually contain meat. While lamb does conform to the kosher rule that only meat from animals that chew the cud and have split hooves can be eaten, so long as they been slaughtered humanely with a knife in the Shechita way, it doesn't permit the consumption of animal sweetbreads, offal, lights or fat (suet). So kosher haggis, as made by chef Peter Lindsay at L'Chaim's, Scotland's only kosher restaurant in Giffnock, Glasgow, contains only pinhead oatmeal, mushrooms, onions and a range of spices and seasonings; it will be served with chicken at the restaurant's 8th annual Burns' Supper on Sunday.
Since there is no longer a kosher abattoir in Scotland due to lack of demand, Rabbi Jacobs - who owns L'Chaim's and runs Lubavitch Scotland, a branch of the largest Orthodox Jewish outreach organisation in the world - sources his kosher meat from specialist suppliers in London and Manchester. Kosher food can only be produced under supervision and pass inspection by a member of the West of Scotland Kosher Authority who checks dairy and meat are not cooked together and that there are no worms or insects in vegetables. This makes it difficult for non-Jewish chefs and home cooks to make it, which is why we haven't included a recipe. Instead, Rabbi Jacobs's business also supplies other restaurants and hotels in Scotland, including Turnberry and Gleneagles and the Royal Yacht Britannia, and large public events such as the Edinburgh Tattoo, with authentic kosher meals for visitors of the Jewish faith.
"Sadly, kosher is no longer observed as it should be," says Rabbi Jacobs. "We're looking to encourage people to eat high-quality kosher food all the time so they no longer have an excuse not to. We're enabling people to practise the faith."
As the Bard himself might have said, and so the Lord be thankit.