Step into a world of culinary enchantment as we explore the timeless charm of Angels on Horseback.
This delectable dish, steeped in elegance and flavour, is a delightful feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

With a name that evokes whimsical imagery, Angels on Horseback has a history as rich as its taste.
Originating in the 19th century, this British classic has stood the test of time, gracing the tables of high society gatherings and becoming a staple in fine dining restaurants across the globe.

Picture succulent oysters, wrapped in smoky bacon, and delicately cooked to perfection.
The result? A heavenly combination of textures and flavours that will transport your palate to new heights.

Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or simply looking to indulge in a truly exquisite culinary experience, Angels on Horseback promises to deliver.

From its intriguing name to its mouthwatering combination of ingredients, this dish is a testament to the artistry and creativity found in the world of gastronomy.

Join us as we dive into the fascinating history, preparation, and variations of this culinary delight that continues to captivate food lovers worldwide.

The History and Origins of Angels on Horseback.

Originating in the 19th century, this British classic has stood the test of time, gracing the tables of high society gatherings and becoming a staple in fine dining restaurants across the globe.

The exact origin of Angels on Horseback is shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been inspired by an ancient Roman dish called “Coquilles Saint-Jacques,” which featured scallops wrapped in bacon.
Over time, oysters became the star ingredient, adding a luxurious touch to this delectable dish.

The name “Angels on Horseback” is said to have been coined in the late 19th century, capturing the imagination with its whimsical imagery.
The combination of the heavenly oysters and the bacon, which resembled a horse’s saddle, created a visual delight that added to the allure of the dish.

Throughout history, Angels on Horseback has remained a symbol of elegance and sophistication.
It was a favourite among the British aristocracy and was often served at lavish banquets and social gatherings.
Today, this culinary masterpiece continues to be celebrated, enchanting both seasoned gourmands and curious food enthusiasts alike.

Variations of Angels on Horseback around the World.

While Angels on Horseback originated in Britain, its popularity quickly spread across the globe, leading to various regional adaptations and unique twists on the classic recipe.

In the United States, for example, Angels on Horseback often includes a touch of cream cheese or jalapenos for an added kick.

In France, the dish is known as “Huitres au Lard” and is typically served with a buttery white wine sauce.

In recent years, creative chefs and home cooks have taken Angels on Horseback to new heights by experimenting with different ingredients and flavour combinations.

Some variations include substituting the traditional bacon with prosciutto or pancetta, adding a touch of truffle oil, or even incorporating a hint of citrus for a refreshing twist.

Whether you prefer the classic rendition or enjoy exploring the innovative takes on this culinary gem, there is no shortage of options to satisfy your cravings for Angels on Horseback.

Ingredients and Preparation of Angels on Horseback.

The beauty of Angels on Horseback lies in its simplicity, with only a handful of ingredients needed to create this gastronomic delight.

Oysters;
The star of the show is, of course, the plump and juicy oysters.
Freshness is key when it comes to selecting oysters, as their delicate flavour and texture are at the heart of the dish.

To prepare Angels on Horseback, start by shucking the oysters, carefully removing the top shell while keeping the oyster intact.

Bacon;
The best bacon for angels on horseback is thin-cut, high-quality bacon.
This will help ensure that the bacon cooks evenly and crisps up nicely without becoming too tough or chewy.

If you can, avoid using thick-cut bacon, as this will overwhelm the delicate flavour of the oysters.
You should also avoid using pre-cooked bacon, as this will not crisp up as well.

When wrapping the oysters in bacon, make sure to overlap the bacon slightly so that it seals in the juices.
You can also secure the bacon with a toothpick if desired.

The smoky flavour of the bacon perfectly complements the briny sweetness of the oysters, creating a harmonious balance of tastes.

Once the oysters are wrapped, they are ready to cook.

Alternative Cooking Methods.
Angels on horseback can be cooked in a variety of ways, but the most common methods are oven grill/broiling, bbq grilling, and pan-frying.

Oven grilling/broiling is the quickest method, but it can be difficult to get the bacon crispy without overcooking the oysters.
BBQ grilling is a good option if you want to give the bacon a smoky flavour.
Pan-frying is the most forgiving method, but it can take a little longer to cook the bacon.

  1. Oven Grill/Broil::
    Preheat your grill/broiler and set the rack to the top position.
    Wrap each oyster in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
    Place the oysters on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.
  2. Pan-fry:
    Heat 13 mm (1/2 inch) of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    Wrap each oyster in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
    Pan-fry the oysters for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.
  3. BBQ Grill:
    Preheat your bbq grill to medium heat. Wrap each oyster in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
    Grill the oysters for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.
  4. Deep Fryer:
    Heat 75mm (3 inches) of oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until it reaches 175℃ (350℉).
    Wrap each oyster in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
    Carefully add the oysters to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.

    When cooking angels on horseback, be sure to use enough oil to fully submerge the oysters and bacon-wrapped oysters in the deep fryer.

  5. Air Fryer:
    Yes, you can definitely cook Angels on Horseback in an air fryer.
    Simply wrap each bacon-wrapped oyster and secure with a few toothpicks to ensure they hold together.
    Preheat your air fryer to 190℃ (375℉), then place the prepared Angels on Horseback in the basket in a single layer and cook for 8 minutes.
  6. Oven:
    Yes, you can cook Angels on Horseback in the oven.
    To make them in the oven, place them on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
    Bake in preheated 190°C (375°F) oven for around 10 to 12 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.

Where to Find Angels on Horseback:
Restaurants and Culinary Events.

If you’re not up for preparing Angels on Horseback at home, fear not!
Many upscale restaurants and seafood establishments feature this exquisite dish on their menus.
A quick search online or a call to your favourite local restaurant can reveal where to find this culinary delight in your area.

Additionally, culinary events, such as food festivals and seafood showcases, often include Angels on Horseback as part of their offerings.
These events provide an excellent opportunity to sample different variations of the dish and dive deeper into the world of gastronomy.

Health Benefits of Angels on Horseback.

Beyond its irresistible taste, Angels on Horseback also offers several health benefits.

Oysters are a fantastic source of essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin D.
These nutrients contribute to heart health, boost the immune system, and promote healthy skin.

While bacon may not be as nutritionally dense as oysters, it adds a savoury element to the dish that can be enjoyed in moderation. Opting for high-quality, nitrate-free bacon can minimize the potential health risks associated with processed meats.

Yield: Yield: 12 Serves

Popular Angel on Horseback Recipes.

Popular Angel on Horseback Recipes.

Ready to try your hand at making Angels on Horseback at home?
Here are four popular recipes to get you started:

The first recipe involves marinating oysters in wine.
Marinating oysters in wine before wrapping them in bacon has several advantages:

  • It enhances the flavour of the oysters.
    The wine adds a subtle sweetness and acidity that complements the briny flavour of the oysters.
  • It tenderizes the oysters.
    The acidity in the wine helps to break down the proteins in the oysters, making them more tender.
  • It prevents the oysters from drying out.
    The wine helps to keep the oysters moist during cooking.
  • It adds flavour to the bacon.
    The wine flavours the bacon, making it more flavourful and aromatic.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 shucked oysters
  • 6 slices lean bacon

Instructions

  1. Mix the wine, garlic, salt and pepper together in a glass bowl. Add the oysters and marinate 10 to 20 minutes.
  2. Cook the bacon slices on medium low heat in a large frying pan, until only about halfway cooked, but not crispy.
    Pre-cook the bacon a bit or else when you cook them with the oysters the oysters will be overcooked by the time the bacon is crispy.
    Set the bacon aside to cool.
  3. Pre heat your grill/broiler, get it good and hot while you wrap the oysters.
  4. Cut each bacon slice in half and wrap each oyster with a piece of bacon, securing with a thick toothpick or small skewer. (see notes below).
  5. Grill / broil, turning on both sides until the bacon is crisp.

Notes

Important
The wooden skewers need to soak in water for a good hour beforehand, this will help to prevent them from burning while cooking.

There's no need to skewer them before you cook them, this would be my preferred method.
As long as you place them on the baking tray seam side down they will stay in tight little rolls when they cook and the seam will fuse together.

Recipe 2:
Classic Angels on Horseback.


Classic Angels on Horseback are a delicious and decadent appetiser or snack.
They are made with fresh oysters wrapped in bacon and cooked until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.

The combination of the briny oysters and the smoky bacon is simply irresistible.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh oysters
  • Bacon slices
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Shuck the oysters, removing the top shell while keeping the oyster intact.
  3. Wrap each oyster with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Place the wrapped oysters on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and garnish with fresh parsley.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe 3:
Angels on Horseback with a Twist.


These Angels on Horseback with prosciutto slices, truffle oil, and lemon zest are a delicious and decadent twist on the classic dish.

The prosciutto adds a salty, savoury flavour that complements the briny oysters, while the truffle oil and lemon zest add a touch of luxury and complexity.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh oysters
  • Prosciutto slices
  • Truffle oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh thyme (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Shuck the oysters, removing the top shell while keeping the oyster intact.
  3. Wrap each oyster with a slice of prosciutto and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle a small amount of truffle oil over each wrapped oyster.
  5. Sprinkle lemon zest on top of the oysters for a burst of freshness.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the prosciutto is crispy and the oysters are cooked through.
  7. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh thyme.
  8. Serve immediately and savor the delightful flavours.

Recipe 4:
Spicy Angels on horseback;


For an extra hot, caramelised version of these oysters with bacon.

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ¼ tsp for more kick)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your angels on horseback as per the main recipe, then.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Dredge the prepared wrapped oyster in the brown sugar mixture.
  4. Grill/broil, turning on both sides until the bacon is crisp.

Traditional Serving Suggestions for Angels on Horseback.


Angels on Horseback is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways.
Traditionally, it is served as an appetiser, tantalising the taste buds before the main course.
The dish pairs beautifully with a glass of chilled Champagne or a crisp white wine, enhancing the flavours and elevating the overall dining experience.

For a classic presentation, arrange the Angels on Horseback on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, to add a touch of vibrancy.

The visual appeal of the dish is further enhanced by serving it on a bed of rock salt or crushed ice, creating an elegant display that is sure to impress.

What To Serve With Angels on Horseback


Angels on Horseback are a delightful seafood dish that pairs well with a variety of complementary side dishes.
Popular accompaniments include roasted potatoes and vegetables, couscous, mashed potatoes, buttery rice pilaf, or simple salads.

Here's some ideas;

  1. Fingerfood Appetisers:
    As soon as they come off the heat, squirt with the lemon or lime juice and serve hot as a fingerfood at your next gathering.

    Serve with this this seafood cocktail sauce as a dipping sauce.

    They are often served on toast points, which are crustless triangles of buttered and toasted bread.

    You can make these delightful and delicious bite-size nibbles as some decadent finger-food on rounds of bread fried in butter.
  2. Asparagus and Mushrooms:
    Asparagus and mushrooms pair perfectly with angels on horseback.
    Add a medley of roasted portabella, button, shiitake, or cremini mushrooms to grilled Asparagus Spears and roast in the oven until tender and delicious.
    Serve with spinach salad on the side.
  3. Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
    Brussels sprouts are a great accompaniment to angels on horseback.
    Roast these cruciferous vegetables with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil for 20 minutes at 375F until they're golden brown and succulent.
  4. Baby Potatoes:
    Nothing goes better with angels on horseback than roasted baby potatoes!
    Simply toss some red or white potatoes with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper before baking for 20 minutes at 180℃ (350℉) until crispy on the
    outside but fluffy inside.
  5. French Onion Soup:
    For a savoury winter meal, serve angels on horseback alongside French onion soup.
    Simmer juicy yellow onions in beef broth then top with melted cheese before serving piping hot.
  6. Spinach Salad:
    For a lighter option to go alongside your angels on horseback try a spinach salad topped with hard-boiled eggs and crumbled bacon pieces for added texture and flavour!
    Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the leafy greens before eating to balance the sweet wrapped oysters centerpiece main dish perfectly.
  7. Sauteed Kale:
    Add some colour to your plate by serving sautéed kale alongside fried oysters!
    Sauté finely chopped curly kale in butter or extra-virgin olive oil until it's fork-tender then season generously with salt and pepper for an earthy side dish that makes the perfect pairing for your main course of Angels on Horseback!
  8. Baked Sweet Potato Fries:
    Sweet potato fries are the perfect crunchy compliment to this salty favourite appetizer dish!
    Cut sweet potatoes into thin strips then coat liberally in olive oil before baking in the oven at 200℃ (400℉) for 30 minutes until golden brown and delicious!

Pairing Angels on Horseback with Wine and Other Beverages.


Finding the perfect beverage pairing can elevate the dining experience when enjoying Angels on Horseback.

The briny, delicate flavours of the oysters call for a wine that can complement and enhance their taste.
Champagne or sparkling wine is a classic choice, with their effervescence cleansing the palate and accentuating the flavours of the dish.
For those who prefer a still wine, a crisp and acidic white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis, can be an excellent match. The acidity of the wine cuts through the richness of the bacon, refreshing the palate with each sip.

If wine isn't your preference, consider pairing Angels on Horseback with a craft beer, such as a light and hoppy India Pale Ale, or a refreshing cocktail, such as a classic martini or a gin and tonic.

The key is to choose a beverage that complements the flavours of the dish while providing a refreshing contrast.

FAQ

  • What Are The Best Oysters For Angels on Horseback
    Basically you want oysters of a size that you’d eat raw, this is supposed to be a one-bite dish, after all.

    They should be shucked and taken off their shells.
    If you're using pre-shucked oysters for this, just look for the small ones.

    Canned oysters are fine. Drain the oysters well and pat dry on paper towels.
  • Can Angels on Horseback Be Made In Advance
    Yes, Angels on Horseback can be made in advance!
    This delicious appetizer is easy to make ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
    Simply wrap each oyster in bacon and put them on a baking sheet.

    You can store them covered in the fridge for up to two days.
    When you are ready to cook them, simply bake them in the oven until they are heated through and crispy.
  • Can Cooked Angels on Horseback Be Reheated
    Yes, cooked Angels on Horseback can be reheated safely.
    When reheating, make sure the oysters are piping hot all the way through before serving.
    Always use a suitable heat source such as an oven or microwave and avoid leaving the oysters in direct contact with open flames.

    However, the best way to do this is in an oven. Place them on a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F).
    Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking to ensure even heat.

    Angels on Horseback is more than just a dish; it's a culinary experience that transports you to a world of elegance and indulgence.

    From its intriguing name to its mouthwatering combination of ingredients, this timeless classic continues to captivate food lovers worldwide. Whether enjoyed at a fine dining restaurant or prepared in the comfort of your own kitchen, Angels on Horseback promises to delight your senses and leave you craving more.

    So, why not embark on a gastronomic adventure and savor the heavenly flavours of Angels on Horseback?
    You won't be disappointed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 76Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 3gFibre: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 7g

"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."


Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry is the author of Good Food To Eat, a website that provides recipes and cooking help.He is a home cook who enjoys sharing his passion for food with others. Lowry’s mother is a chef, and she taught him the basics of cooking and baking when he was young.He also has experience running a catering business with his wife, specializing in finger foods and full meals for people with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb.Through his various cooking experiences, Lowry has learned what makes a great recipe: simple to follow, yet delicious and satisfying. That’s why he focuses on creating step-by-step recipes that are easy for anyone to make, regardless of their cooking skills.

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