Pigs in blankets are a traditional British Christmas food consisting of small sausages wrapped in streaky or back bacon. They are typically made with chipolata-style sausages, but you can use other sausages as long as you source the cleanest ones possible.
You can ask your local butcher if they make their own sausages. Most traditional butchers still make their own sausages on-site, so they may be happy to accommodate your needs if you ask for pure pork sausages with no added fillers as long as you buy a large enough quantity to make it worth their while.
If you love sausages, they can be one of the most difficult things to give up on a carnivore diet. Typically, British sausages are only around 50 to 60 per cent meat, with the rest comprising fillers such as wheat flour, rusk or potato flour.
We always say to do the best you can when sourcing sausages, and most UK supermarkets make their own at between 90 to 98 per cent meat with added pork fat, herbs and spices making up the difference.
However, if you really cannot tolerate added ingredients in your sausages, you could always make your own! You can buy home sausage-making kits from eBay and Amazon. Many Zero Carb Carnivore UK Facebook group members have successfully made some delicious homemade sausages.
What are pigs in blankets?
In the traditional recipe, sausages are wrapped in bacon and then cooked in the oven until the bacon is crispy. Pigs in blankets are often served as a side dish at Christmas dinner, but they can also be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer – which is excellent if you are throwing a party and want to stay carnivore.
You can also take a plate of pigs in blankets to share at a party where you know there will be limited carnivore options for you to enjoy.
Did you know that originally the recipe called for oysters wrapped in bacon? True fact! Once oysters became more expensive in the 19th century, they were eventually replaced with sausages. They used to be eaten all year round. They became a popular Christmas food in the early 20th century and have remained a tradition ever since.
Traditional pigs in a blanket recipe
Here is a standard recipe for pigs in blankets:
- 1 pound chipolata sausages
- 1 pound bacon rashers (streaky or back)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation and cooking instructions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Wrap each sausage in a rasher of bacon.
- Place the wrapped sausages in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the sausages are cooked through.
- Serve hot or cold.
How to make MEGA carnivore pigs in blankets
All I did to take this traditional recipe to the next level was to wrap a thin layer of beef mince around the sausage before wrapping it in bacon. Dead easy, right?
One tip, though, is to keep your sausages and beef mince as cool as possible while you prepare the pigs in blankets because the closer to room temperature the beef mince gets, the more sticky it becomes.
I wandered off in the middle of making these for a few minutes. When I returned to finish them off, the beef mince was too soft to roll out properly, and I got a lot of it stuck to my fingers while forming it around each sausage. Lesson learned!
Here is my MEGA carnivore pigs in blankets method:
- Roll out balls of around 4 ounces (113g) of beef mince between two sheets of parchment or greaseproof paper until evenly thin but still thick enough to handle without falling apart.
- Cut the flattened mince in half. Carefully peel it away from the paper and wrap it around a sausage, gently pinching the open sides together to make a seal.
- Wrap each sausage with a rasher of bacon. Streaky is best for making pigs in blankets as it has a higher fat content than back bacon, but back bacon tastes better!
- Set out on a baking sheet and cook in the oven (air fryer or halogen oven) for 25 minutes. Turn over the pigs in blankets and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes until the bacon becomes brown and crispy.
These are very meaty and substantial, so they can make a delicious and filling carnivore meal on their own. Or you can slice them into bitesize pieces and serve them on cocktail sticks as a tasty party snack.
How to make your own sausages
If you fancy trying your hand at homemade sausages, you can buy inexpensive sausage casings and kits from Amazon. If you love your sausages and cannot find clean ones to buy, making your own is an excellent option on a carnivore diet because you can control every ingredient that goes into them.
Here is a basic recipe you can use for making your own sausages. You can experiment with adding dried herbs and spices to your sausage meat to create different flavours of sausages. Making your own sausages is excellent for eliminating any herbs or spices you know you cannot tolerate or cause digestive issues when consumed.
- 500g pork shoulder, minced
- 250g pork belly, minced
- 100g pork back fat, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup ice water
- Sausage casings
- Soak the sausage casings in cold water for at least 30 minutes or overnight. You can buy sausage casings that don’t need any pre-soaking.
- In a large bowl, combine the pork shoulder, pork belly, pork back fat, salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, thyme, sage, cayenne pepper (if using), garlic powder (if using), and onion powder (if using).
- Add the ice water and mix well, using your hands, until the mixture is evenly combined.
- Stuff the sausage mixture into the sausage casings using a sausage stuffer or a food processor fitted with a sausage attachment.
- Twist the ends of the sausage casings to seal them, then cut the sausages into links.
Here are some valuable tips for making your own sausages:
- Use high-quality meat. The quality of your meat will make a big difference in the taste of your sausages.
- Use a meat mincing machine with a medium-coarse grind. This will give your sausages a nice texture.
- Add some fat to your sausage mixture. Fat will help to keep your sausages moist and flavourful.
- Be sure to season your sausage mixture well with salt, pepper, dried herbs, and spices you know you can tolerate. The seasonings will add flavour and depth to your sausages.
Enjoy your MEGA carnivore pigs in blankets!
You may also be interested in the following posts:
Which Kitchen Knives Are Good To Use On A Carnivore Diet?
What Are The Best Chopping Boards For Preparing Meat?
Do You Need Electrolytes On A Carnivore Diet?
Pork Scratchings Vs Pork Crunch on The Carnivore Diet
Also available to buy: Everything You Need to Get Started on a Carnivore Diet: Tips on the kitchen, cooking, storage, tools and equipment you need to make following this healthy way of eating easy! (Kindle eBook). Also available on Smashwords.