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Pigs in blankets can be enjoyed at any time of the year though they have become a staple dish at the Christmas table. With endless flavour combinations to try while experimenting with different kinds of sausages and bacon, there’s a recipe to suit everyone’s taste when making them yourself. No matter what kind you try, cooking the two layers of meat to perfection is key to achieving that sweet yet smokey tang, and a chef has shared the easy hack to make yours “‘next level crispy”, without being overcooked.
How to cook pigs in blankets
Everyone has their own take on this classic recipe, whether it be as simple as wrapping your favourite sausages in bacon and cooking them unseasoned, or experimenting with fresh herbs and sweet dressings.
If you struggle to cook these meaty snacks to perfection without burning the bacon and ending up with a layer of fat between the two layers, you may think it’s down to poor timing.
However, according to Cheryl Whyte, a qualified nutrition coach and chef, it is more likely that your ingredients are to blame.
She explained that making the “perfect” sausages wrapped in bacon starts with shopping for good quality meat.
Cheryl, also known as “The Real Food Geek” said: “There’s something about sausages wrapped in bacon that makes them completely irresistible. Good quality sausages wrapped in smoky bacon with a drizzle of honey, spiked with fresh herbs. Utterly moreish!
“The star of this recipe is the sausage. I recommend using herby pork chipolata sausages for a juicy, succulent flavour that shines through.”
When it comes to choosing your chipolatas, the chef noted that “100 percent natural” products are best as sausages are notorious for being high-fat meat.
Avoiding low-quality meats means that you can steer clear of excessive salt, fillers and preservatives, which contribute to the fatty white deposits that seep through as the sausages cook.
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Despite not being the main event of this tasty snack, choosing good quality bacon is also important if you want to perfect your pigs and blankets this year.
Cheryl said: “The best bacon to use in this recipe is thin smoked streaky bacon for an extra smoky flavour that pairs perfectly with the spices in the sausage.
“Thinner bacon slices help to make sausages wrapped in bacon next level crispy.”
If you are working with lower-quality ingredients or thicker bacon rashers, there is a simple way to achieve that desirable, crispy texture.
To do this, private chef and former Masterchef contestant, Aaron Middleton recommended rolling the bacon out.
Place a large sheet of baking parchment on a flat surface and lay out the strips of raw bacon. Spread another sheet on top, and use a rolling pin to stretch the meat out both length and widthways.
Cheryl added that another way to ensure your pigs in blankets aren’t overcooked is to add any glaze on the inside of the bacon rashers before wrapping them around the sausages.
To follow her easy, “guilt-free” recipe, you will need:
- 12 herby pork chipolatas (breakfast pork sausages)
- One pack of smoked streaky bacon
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Sea salt flakes
Pour the honey into a small bowl along with the rosemary, thyme, and sea salt and stir to combine. After rolling out the bacon rashers, lay them on a board and coat them with the “herby honey” using a pastry brush.
Then, take a chipolata and, starting at one end, roll the bacon strip around the sausage until it’s completely wrapped. Cheryl said: “For great results, ensure your sausages are at room temperature before wrapping them in bacon so they cook evenly without burning on the outside.”
Place the wrapped sausages on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook for 25-30 minutes. The nutrition coach recommended turning the pigs in blankets once at the halfway mark and again just 10 minutes before the cooking time is up.
Finish by pouring the remaining honey over them and shaking the tray to coat the bacon. Chery added: “Once cooked, the sausages should be a dark golden colour, surrounded by crispy bacon.”
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