‘Devils on horseback’ is essentially a European appetizer or part of a light meal. The small dish is savory in taste and served piping hot. Although recipes to make the appetizer vary greatly all over the world, these are simply a variation of the more popular angels on horseback.
Not much is known about the origin of the dish but it is generally accepted as the brainchild of the French or British.
Most devils on horseback recipes contain a pitted prune that is stuffed with mango chutney and then enclosed in bacon. Dates are used sometimes instead of prunes. Also, there are some recipes that call for the use of almonds, cheese, smoked oysters or other meats or ingredients instead of mango chutney as stuffing for the prunes.
Prunes and dates are used interchangeably since both have a similar taste and texture. The stuffing is selected based on the ingredients that would complement the sweetness of the date or prune the most.
Although devils on horseback can be prepared in a number of different ways, the basic recipe and the basic ingredient arrangement is pretty standard. A small sized central food item (date, prune, etc.) is stuffed with a smallest chunk of a food that would complement the taste of the central food. The stuffed food is then wrapped in a long piece of bacon, long enough to go around just once. The preparation is then cooked by the process of baking in a hot oven. This is the simplest and most basic way to make the dish. Recipes mostly differ based on the ingredients used. The preparation and cooking methods, however, continue to remain consistent.
Angels on Horseback
Widely considered the 'ancestor' of devils on horseback, angels on horseback is a very similar appetizer. The latter can also be viewed as a variation of the former. While the central food in devils on horseback is dark in color, that in angels on horseback is usually a light ingredient very much alike dried apricots. There are various traditional recipes that use an oyster instead of a fruit. The oyster is seasoned with preferred ingredients or some hot sauce. Everything else, from wrapping in a bacon strip to baking, remains the same.
Devils on horseback is usually served fresh from the oven, while it is still piping hot. It is mostly an appetizer or a part of a light breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. The dish can be consumed plain but it is mostly served on buttered toast. There is a wide array of dipping sauces that go well with the salty-sweet taste of the preparation,
In Europe and America, Devils on horseback is commonly served as a part of the grand Christmas feast.