Pigs in Blankets

Jazz up your Christmas Party Table

‘Tis the season for the simple sausage and bacon to shine. Easy and quick to cook, chipolatas and bacon are not only the essential accompaniments to Christmas dinner, but with a little imagination they can make an impressive table centrepiece and amazing party appetisers.

Christmas is not a time for compromise. Helen Browning’s Organic Speedy Sausages are a chipolata-style sausage that are 96% organic pork and gluten-free. Her bacon is dry cured by hand and left to mature for twelve days to allow the full flavour to emerge. All of Helen’s pork products are sourced from her farm in Wiltshire and like-minded farmers.

The flavoursome bacon is excellent for laying across the turkey to prevent it drying out, and the Speedy Sausages add a spicy kick when added to the turkey or roast potatoes for the last 25 minutes of cooking time.

Organic Pigs in Blankets

Helen Browning’s Organic Speedy Sausages (from frozen or fresh)

Wrap with Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon (smoked or unsmoked? Your choice)

Sprinkle with a little olive oil and pop in the oven at 200ºC, Gas mark 6, for 10-15mins depending on how crispy you like your pigs in blankets

Roast Organic Asparagus & Bacon

Roast Organic Asparagus and Bacon

Ingredients: Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon, Organic Asparagus, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

  • Toss the asparagus in a little olive oil
  • Wrap generously in Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Roast in the oven for 10-15minutes at 200ºC, Gas mark 6, or until the bacon is crispy


Organic Blue Bacon Bites

Organic Blue Bacon Bites

Ingredients: Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon, Organic Wholemeal Bread, Stilton and Cream Cheese

  • Toast the Wholemeal bread and cut into 40mm squares
  • Mix 80% stilton with 20% cream cheese, gently – maintain some lovely texture rather than mixing to a cream mixture.
  • Crisp up some Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon (grill or in the pan)
  • Place a good dollop of blue cheese mixture on to the toast with a slice of streaky bacon on top

Serve warm for optimum delight

Twisted Hot Dogs

Twisted Hot Dogs

Ingredients: Helen Browning’s Organic Hot Dogs & Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon, Organic Peppers

  • Place a skewer lengthways through the Hot Dog, then cut a spiral shape the length of the Hot Dog.
  • Skin peppers (cut in half and pop under grill until blackened, then seal inside a plastic bag for 10-15 minutes and the skins will remove easily)
  • Slice the peppers lengthways into 4mm strips and pop into the cuts of the Hot Dogs
  • Cut the Streaky Bacon length ways and wrap into the spiral cuts
  • Place the Hot Dogs on a baking tray and oven cook for 10mins at 220ºC (lower for fan ovens), Gas mark 8

Black pudding, Bacon and Apricot lovers

Black pudding, Bacon and Apricot lovers

Ingredients: Helen Browning’s Organic Back Bacon, Organic Black Pudding, Wholemeal bread and Dried Apricots

  • Flatten the apricots with a rolling pin and cut into heart shape (or any other shape you prefer)
  • Toast the bread and cut into heart shapes
  • Cut the black pudding also into slightly smaller heart shapes
  • Shallow fry the Back Bacon in a little oil and cut into shape

Pile high and serve warm

Christmas Cauliflower & Stilton Florets

Christmas Cauliflower and Stilton Florets

Ingredients: Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon, Organic Cauliflower & Stilton (or any strong cheese you prefer)

  • Pull the cauliflower apart into 1-2 bite sized florets
  • Place a piece of your favourite cheese on top and wrap in Helen Browning’s Organic Streaky Bacon
  • Pop in the oven at 220ºC (lower for fan ovens), Gas mark 8, for 10 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.

We liked this one so much we thought we would share it with you; ideal mix of carbs, protein and fat. Taken from Men’s Health magazine January/February; recipe by Richard Bertinet, author of Cook in a Class of your Own.

Serves 5

Spaghetti Carbonara (image courtesy of digipam)

  • 250gms of Helen Browning’s organic bacon – click to buy here
  • 500gms spaghetti pasta
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100gms Parmesan grated
  • Heavy cream

Cook the spaghetti as per instructions on the pack; spin it around with a fork to ensure it doesn’t stick together. Mix the egg yolks, cream and Parmesan in a bowl.

Chop the bacon and fry it until crispy, then drain it on kitchen paper.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the pan. Set the pan to a low heat, add the crispy bacon and egg mixture and toss for 30 seconds or so. The residual heat from the bacon and pasta will cook the eggs – just keep your tossing time to a minimum so they don’t scramble.

Tuck in and enjoy!

image courtesy of digipam

“The Bacon mayo is freakin’ awesome”, says chef, Rikki McCowen, and is happy to partner anything you fancy…but here’s one I tried earlier.

Bacon Mayo

  • 1 pack of Helen Browning’s organic streaky bacon – click to buy here
  • 3 eggs (yolk only)
  • 300ml of high quality sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of English mustard
  • Dash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Fine dice all of the bacon and cook in a frying pan on a medium heat until the fat has rendered out and the bacon bits are evenly crispy. Drain off the bacon fat but do not discard either the fat or the bacon. Add the bacon fat to the 300 ml of sunflower oil and put to one side for later.

Put the 3 yolks into a spacious mixing bowl along with the Worcestershire sauce, mustard and crushed garlic. Slowly incorporate the oil/fat mixture into the yolks, whisking all the time. If the mixture becomes too stiff add a little warm water. If you haven’t made mayonnaise before, you may wish to refer to some simple instructions here, courtesy of the Beeb. Season to taste – you may want to add a little lemon juice. Finally take the bacon pieces and stir into the mayo.

Scotch Eggs

  • 4 free range eggs – preferably, organic
  • 300g of sausage meat
  • Pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Thyme

Place 4 eggs into cold salted water; bring to the boil and turn down immediately to a simmer. Simmer for 7 minutes, drain and cool under running cold water. Peel the eggs once cooled. Mix the sausage meat, pepper, paprika and thyme.  Take a quarter of the meat mixture in hand and flatten out into as thin a disc as possible; place the egg into the centre and wrap the sausage meat around it, ensuring that there aren’t any gaps and the sausage meat evenly encloses the egg.

The crumb coating…

  • Flour
  • 1 egg
  • Dried breadcrumbs

Roll the wrapped eggs in flour – so that there is a fine film of flour on the meat – dip into the egg and then finally roll in the dried breadcrumbs. Deep fry the eggs for 4 minutes on a high heat and then transfer the scotch eggs to a preheated 180 degree oven for a further 6 minutes. A thousand miles from anything you will ever buy.

Children love this easy and tasty supper!

For the Onion Gravy you will need:
  • 1 x 14 g Butter
  • 1 x 15ml Olive Oil
  • 2 medium or 1 large onion very finely chopped
  • 1 stock cube mixed with 200ml water
  • 1 x 15ml spoon of sugar
  • Mustard Powder

Melt the butter and oil together gently in a small frying pan. Add the onion, stir, cover and cook very gently for 10 minutes. Add sugar, stir, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Add water, stock cube, mustard powder and simmer gently to reduce. Stir occasionally. Season to taste.

For the Hedgehog Mash you will need:
  • Boil 250gm of organic potatoes until soft
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add any of the following on their own or in combination

Boil 250gm of organic potatoes until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mash vigorously until light and fluffy.

To serve

Create a Hedgehog effect by poking the cooked speedy sausages into mash. Pour over the onion gravy. Provide non-swimmers with armbands.

Children love this easy and tasty supper!

For the sauce you will need:
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 2 cans Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Other ingredients:
  • Pack of Speedy Sausages!
  • 400g Spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cut off the ends of the garlic cloves. Peel of the skins of the garlic cloves and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Set aside.
  2. Cut of the ends of the onion and peel off the skin. Dice the onion. Set aside.
  3. Pour the cans of tomatoes with their liquid into a mixing bowl. Break up the tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over a high heat. Turn the setting down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, while stirring often.
  6. (Store extra tomato sauce you don't need in a container. It will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer)
  7. Whilst tomatoes are simmering fry off your speedy sausages for 4 mins.
  8. Leave speedies to cool for a few mins, cook spaghetti.
  9. Chop up speedy sausages into bite sized chunks and add into simmering tomatoe sauce mix.
  10. Strain pasta, season and serve hot onto plate – top with tomato sauce.

latest awards

SA Gold Award

Hot Dog and Beef Sirloin Winners

Following two years of being ‘highly commended’, our Helen Browning brand organic hot dogs, have now won ‘Gold’ in the Organic Food Awards. They are amazing, we think – what hot dogs used to be like, before they were made of pig skin and old washing up lines all pulped up together! And Helen’s Beef Sirloin, also usually on the menu here, also won ‘Gold’.


Sustainable Restaurants award

Sustainable Restaurant Association gives 
Helen Browning at The Royal Oak top score for good practice!

Out of about 450 restaurants, hotels and pubs, the SRA has awarded The Royal Oak Three Gold Stars for its sustainable practices. Our pub joins only three other establishments in the country in the top bracket of the SRA’s league table. They have commended our food sourcing, our healthy food on the plate, the way we treat food suppliers, our recycling and, last but not least, the care with which we try to look after customers and staff. You can read more here.


Food For Life logo 

Proud to be a member of the Soil Association’s catering mark supplier scheme that provides assurance to caterers on food and drink issues such as health, animal welfare and the environment.

See the Soil Association’s website for more information.