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Haggis – Cochon555 SF

HAGGIS – POGGIO’S PETER McNEE – COCHON555, San Francisco 2009

June 0f 2009 was the cruelest month, for there were some unbelievable dining events. The best of these, far and away, was Cochon 555. A friendly competition between 5 of the Bay Area’s best chefs, each of whom had a different breed of heritage pig to cook and make dishes from. Unbelievable. I could write 100 posts on that event alone. And I just might…

Poggio’s Peter McNee took the title, and he definitely had a few very memorable pork dishes. His haggis was really incredible. Haggis is pig viscera with onions over oats, a traditional Scottish fare, and something you’ll rarely see at a restaurant. (Kinda hard to pitch it to most folks.) Safe assumption that not many people like offal (animal innards and such), but I love them when leveraged by a great chef. There’s so much interesting texture and flavor in the ‘weird’ parts of the animal; it’s a great exploration for the palate to venture into new territories.

Haggis - Haggis - Haggis from Peter McNee, Poggio

Haggis – Haggis – Haggis from Peter McNee, Poggio

The haggis was indelibly delicious in McNee’s capable hands. My funky little haggis pile  didn’t win over compadres at my little standup dining circle during Cochon555, but after I raved a bit about it, two guys went over to get a plate before the Poggio team ran out.

You could say I loved the haggis, which I did, but you can obviously see the subliminal messaging in the photo:  the dark, heart-shaped pig innards thumping out from the yellow oats, yellower than a pirate’s teeth but just a bit less salty. Arrrg, it was good, matey. Haggis. Yes, haggis.

I Heart Haggis from Poggio (Cochon555, SF)

I Heart Haggis from Poggio (Cochon555, SF)