Monday, 10 December 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Chipolatas with Whipped Mustard Sauce

Flops and failures are part of the process of developing new recipes from scratch, and often I have to remake a dish several times before I'm satisfied with it. Sometimes, though, a recipe falls into place in one go, and this whipped mustard sauce - which I dreamed up for my cookbook - is one of of those.  This is a light, silken, creamy sauce with a good zip of mustard and a lovely aniseedy note of tarragon;  it stiffens a little when chilled, and keeps beautifully in the fridge for up to 5 days without any loss of taste or texture.

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.

Pork Chipolatas with Bacon
Par-cook the piglets to save oven space.
We usually dish them up with the turkey, but they also make excellent festive snacks. I served them with this sauce at both my 50th birthday party and my book launch, and they were gone in a flash; I recommend that you double the recipe if you are expecting a crowd.

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

Bacon-wrapped pork chipolatas, ready for the oven

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Wrap the bacon around the sausages and tuck a small rosemary sprig into each. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked and the bacon crisp.

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. 

Cook’s Notes
Although best hot from the oven, the sausages can be baked a few hours in advance and reheated in a moderate oven. You can make the mustard sauce up to 24 hours in advance.

Recipe from Scrumptious Food for Family and Friends by Jane-Anne Hobbs, courtesy of Random House Struik.


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2 comments:

Kit said...

These are always part of our Christmas feast too, and there is fierce competition for any leftovers the next day!
Luckily my sister-in-law is pretty effective at tracking the chipolatas down before Christmas... don't know what would if they didn't appear. There would be rioting at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Woolies had these chippolatas pre-wrapped, so I got those, and the mustard sauce is an absolute truimph. Everyone loved it and we served it as a snack before our meal. Thanks for a fantastic blog!! Lana Kotze