Christmas Preparation: Pigs in Blankets & Stuffing Baubles

There are only a few days left until Christmas. Although I began planning for the big day several weeks ago now is the time when it all starts to come together. This year we’re hosting my parents and the in-laws too, so have a full house on Christmas Day. As always I expect I’ll end up cooking enough food for twice as many people, but in that respect I have no restraint.

However, one thing I won’t be doing is spending half of Christmas Eve and most of Christmas morning in the kitchen preparing food. If I can find a way to make anything in advance then trust me I will do just that. Christmas morning is a time for Bucks Fizz (the drink, not the band), Smoked Salmon and family. It is not a time for peeling, chopping and dicing.

Fortunately there are a lot of little bits and pieces that can be prepared well in advance, and kept in the fridge or freezer until needed. I’ve started by preparing the Christmas Day garnishes. Pigs in Blankets and Stuffing Baubles – both of which will be popped into the freezer now, defrosted overnight and cooked just before they’re needed. 

Neither of these are complex things to make – but they’re quite a therapeutic and repetitive task to undertake one evening in the week before Christmas.


Pigs in Blankets

Ok, so this doesn’t really need a recipe, but I wrote one anyway… Pigs in Blankets, if you’re not familiar, are sausages wrapped in bacon. You get two doses of processed meat in one mouthful – what more could you want?

Pigs in Blankets

Not so much a recipe as a style guide… I can’t help but wrap the bacon around the sausages in a spiral pattern but if you disagree then just make sure that you do you 🙂
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Side Dishes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 6 Rashers Streaky Bacon
  • 12 Good Quality Chipolata Sausages

Instructions

  • Cut the rashers of bacon in half longways – so that you get two longer, thinner strips. Wrap them around the sausage in a spiral pattern. That’s about it!
  • At this point you can pop them in the freezer until needed – so they can easily be made a few weeks before they’re needed. Just make sure to properly defrost them before cooking.
  • When ready to cook – pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Lay the piggies out on a baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch as you want them to get crispy. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Stuffing Baubles

Much like the Pigs in Blankets above, these Stuffing Baubles consist of a couple of ingredients – one wrapped around the other – so a recipe may be considered a little generous on my part.

When it comes to stuffing I am a huge fan in prettty much any form. Yes, that includes Sage and Onion Paxo. Though I’ve never been a fan of cooking stuffing inside a joint of meat or the carcass of poultry. I think that’s because I grew up in the 1980s, when some pretty nasty bugs were doing the rounds in meat and it wasn’t worth the risk. It also means that it doesn’t get a nice crunchy edge either, which is borderline criminal in my books.

Here I make stuffing balls (and you can choose whichever stuffing you prefer) and wrap them in little strips of streaky bacon. When cooked they look like little wrapped presents waiting to be opened. Or baubles that you could, if you were really determined, hang on the tree… Though I’d recommend that you don’t.

Plus these are another way to get a bit more bacon into your life and that can never be a bad thing!

Stuffing Baubles

Three ingredients + next to no effort = a little bit of Christmas cheer.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Side Dishes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 6 Rashers Streaky Bacon
  • 350 g Good Quality Sausagemeat See notes
  • 2 tbsp Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Cut the rashers of bacon in half longways – so that you get two longer, thinner strips, then cut these in half.
  • Mix together the sausagemeat and breadcrumbs, then roll into balls. Wrap bacon around each in a cross shape, tucking the ends in underneath. 
  • If you’re using sausagement then you can freeze these at this stage. Just make sure to properly defrost them before cooking.
  • When ready to cook – pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Lay the baubles out on a baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch as you want them to get crispy. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Notes

I use a well-spiced sausagemeat for these baubles and don’t feel the need to add any additional herbs or spices to the mix. Of course you can use the stuffing of your choice here, so why not go wild!
You could even use a shop-bought packet stuffing mix if you wanted – though I think you’d need to make them and cook them straight away, rather than freezing those in advance. 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *