|I took this snap of Happy Piglets (with mustard sauce in the background) while my book's|
photographer Michael Le Grange was setting up the shot. Bowl and plate by David Walters.
As I've mentioned about a thousand times elsewhere on this blog, bacon-wrapped chipolatas (known as 'Happy Piglets' in my family) are the highlight of our festive feast, to the point that mild panic sets in a few days before the big day, with various sisters surging from supermarket to butcher in order to hunt them down and corral them into freezers and fridges.
This Christmas we par-cooked the happy piglets because of limited oven space. Place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are half cooked, then set aside, covered with foil. Place them in a blazing-hot oven for 10 minutes to crisp up just before you serve them.
This is a little fiddly to make because it's an egg-based sauce, but if you follow the directions to the letter you cannot go wrong. If your eggs curdle because you've over-heated them, you'll have to throw them out and start again.
Fresh tarragon isn't easy to come by, so I use dried tarragon, which is beautifully pungent. If possible, use Maille Dijon mustard, and not some over-yellowy substitute.
Bacon-Wrapped Chipolatas with Whipped Mustard Sauce
16 rashers streaky bacon, halved crossways
32 pork chipolatas
fresh rosemary sprigs
For the sauce:
5 Tbsp (75 ml) white wine vinegar
half an onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried tarragon
3 free-range egg yolks
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) hot English mustard powder
4 Tbsp (60 ml) Maille Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
salt and milled black pepper
175 ml cream, whipped to a soft peak
For the sauce, simmer the vinegar, onion and tarragon in a saucepan for 4–5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Put the egg yolks, water, mustard powder, Dijon mustard and butter into a metal or glass bowl and whisk until creamy. Strain the warm vinegar onto the eggs and mix well. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, for 4–5 minutes, or until hot and very thick. Do not allow the mixture to come anywhere near boiling point. You'll know it's ready when it suddenly thickens.
Season to taste, cool for 5 minutes, and then fold in the whipped cream. Chill. Serve the sausages hot with the cold mustard sauce.
Serves 8 as a snack.
Recipe from Scrumptious Food for Family and Friends by Jane-Anne Hobbs, courtesy of Random House Struik.