There’s no global, singular gigs in blankets recipe, as variations of the theme – a sausage wrapped in pastry - are served all over the world, in Japan, Eastern Europe and even in Ireland. Most of the time, pigs in a blanket are quite large, and can constitute an entire meal in and of themselves, but in recent years smaller varieties of sausages are being used to create entree-sized portions of this global favorite. These bite-sized appetizers are generally served at cocktail parties, particularly in the United States and Canada, where they’re eaten with some kind of cocktail sauce or aioli.
It’s worth noting that pigs in a blanket are distinct from the sausage rolls commonly eaten in the British Commonwealth, particularly in the agricultural regions of rural Australia, where they are considered a national food. In the UK, the term “pigs in a blanket” actually denotes a dish that forgoes the pastry, instead wrapping a sausage in bacon, generally accompanying turkey or a similar large hunk of meat for Christmas dinner.
The type of sausage that you use for your pigs in a blanket depends on your personal palate and what you like to eat. Chicken sausages are quite lean, but they don’t have the same flavor as more robust beef or pork sausages. Generally, pork sausages, thanks to their high proportion of fat, are best for this recipe. If you want to add some extra flavor to the basic mixture of savory pork and buttery pastry, there are numerous variations of the humble sausage produced throughout the world that feature vegetables, herbs and spices to enhance the natural flavor of the sausage meat. For example, it’s popular in England and the rest of the United Kingdom to make pork and fennel sausages, or to add some parsley to the pork sausage mixture. This adds freshness to the sausage, and balances out the aftertaste left by any residual pork fat. This is particularly popular for those with sensitive stomachs or who suffer from acid reflux, which may be triggered by overly fatty or oily foods.
If you’re running low on time, you can split your sausages down the middle to halve their cooking time, although this causes the sausage casing to peel off, so you want to make sure you cook the sausages well so they maintain their shape and structural integrity. You can caramelize some onion in the pan with your sausages before you add them to the pastry, as this imbues the sausage with some onion flavor, and you can serve the onions as a side to your pigs in a blanket. You can also roughly chop bacon into squares about one centimeter (or half an inch) in diameter, but this is strictly optional and not necessary for an authentic dose of pigs in a blanket.
If you want to try adding some herbs to your sausages, woody, aromatic herbs like rosemary and thyme are extremely popular for pigs in blankets, as is sage. Francophiles will adore pigs in blankets made with croissant dough, although any sweet dough will do for this pigs in a blanket recipe.
PIGS IN A BLANKET RECIPEPrint