Go Retro with Wonderful Devils on Horseback

- 24
Required Disclaimer: This post may contain products with affiliate links. If you make purchases using these links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Easy entertaining - Go Retro with Wonderful Devils on Horseback www.compassandfork.comGo Retro this holiday season by serving these wonderful Devils on Horseback. Easy to make with only 2 much-maligned ingredients, albeit for 2 totally different reasons.

Together smoky bacon wrapped around prunes is a delightful combination. The sweetness of prunes and the saltiness of the bacon combining to provide a mouth-watering package of divine taste. They are perfect for any finger food situation and they are simple to prepare and cook. It really doesn’t get much easier than this dish if you are under pressure from a time perspective.

In this post we discuss the historic nature of this appetizer and make an argument for why there is actually some health benefit, well at least in one of the ingredients anyway! Bacon is so popular around most parts of the world and prunes, with their undoubted health benefits. It seems like such an unlikely combination but somehow it works and together they are called Devils on a Horseback. Such a great name but where did it come from?

A Short History of Devils on Horseback or is that Angels on Horseback?

So popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s when home entertaining started to become more commonplace around the world, Devils on Horseback has some history.

As usual with these sorts of things there is some mysticism behind the story of the dish. Devils on Horseback definitely dates back to Victorian times in Britain but the original recipe may in fact have used a different ingredient to prunes, the humble (at the time) oyster. And it may have first appeared in France rather than Britain!

Oysters were frowned upon by the gentry and upper classes in early Victorian times as they were considered to be food for common people. Anyone could forage for oysters and many people living by the seaside did. When bacon was wrapped around an oyster and grilled, Angels on Horseback was discovered and enjoyed by the common people. This likely occurred in France.

However, as oysters became more popular and expensive, the common man started substituting the oysters for prunes and Devils on Horseback was born. This likely occurred in Britain where it seems it was exported to the world. It was certainly popular in the US and I have also read accounts of the dish being invented there. Who knows?


 PLANNING AN UPCOMING

DINNER PARTY?

Get a FREE copy of the ITALIAN

DINNER PARTY MENUcomplete with recipes!

It doesn’t really matter where it was derived as bacon lovers around the world have been forever grateful for this quick and easy morsel, which reached its zenith in the 1960’s and has been on a slow decline since as people experimented with more ingredients.
In recent times bacon and prunes have been much maligned. But I can make an argument why Devils on Horseback has some health benefits!

Bacon and Prunes – 2 Much-Maligned Ingredients

Although we had an inkling that bacon was not altogether good for you, the World Health Organization made it official by saying that bacon, along with other processed meats, can cause cancer. Here is an article typical of most reporting on it. But it wasn’t all bad news!

Behind the headlines, were 2 other important facts, namely:

  • Eaten in moderation; and
  • Sourcing higher-quality bacon that was less processed and containing no/less nitrates

bacon could still be enjoyed as part of as healthy diet. I respectfully point out that many long-living cultures include processed meats in their diets. But it is in moderation and part of an otherwise very healthy diet containing lots of vegetables.

The bottom line is to buy higher quality bacon and enjoy it once a week or so.

And as for prunes, they have been more-maligned than bacon, but for altogether different reasons. With that dark, almost black color they are not the most attractive dried fruit going around. As a great remedy for constipation, kids have been for years given this frightening looking dried fruit when they have not been at their best. And that name! It doesn’t conger up a vision of yumminess at all, I’m afraid.

In fact, in some parts of the world, they have officially changed the name from prune to dried plums (which is all they are). Someone has taken a leaf out of the New Zealanders book, unilaterally changing the name of Chinese Gooseberries to Kiwi Fruit, surely the greatest marketing coup of all time!

But the health benefits of prunes are not in dispute. Here is a list:

  • Protect against diseases like cancer;
  • Help prevent Type 2 diabetes and obesity;
  • Prunes and plums help lower cholesterol;
  • Improved bone health, good for osteoporosis; and
  • Great source of Vitamins A, K and beta carotene.

A prune that has been cooked takes on a softer texture and a richer taste. So it seems to me if you are going to be naughty and have some bacon, why not wrap it around those prunes and at least gain from the health benefits of the prunes?

That’s my justification and that being said, enjoy these Devils on Horseback.

Looking for more party snacks and appetizers? Try here:

And if you want another great appetizer wrapped in bacon- try this brussel sprouts wrapped in bacon recipe.

Go Retro with Wonderful Devils on Horeseback www.compassandfork.com
Go Retro with Wonderful Devils on Horseback
Go Retro with Wonderful Devils on Horseback
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Print Recipe
Looking for a simple, easy to make and quick morsel as a finger food? Go with Devils on Horseback. With cooking, the prunes become juicy and full of flavor and the slight saltiness and smokiness of the bacon is a great contrast. Also great on the BBQ!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4people 5minutes 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 5minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat broiler/grill to 375 f (190 c). Can also use a BBQ.
  2. Cut each bacon rasher in half. Place a prune at one end of the bacon and roll up. Secure with a toothpick.Easy Prep - Savory Meatballs are a True World Cuisine www.compassandfork.com
  3. Place an inch (2.5 cm) apart on a grill pan or baking sheet and broil/grill until sizzling. Turn once.
Recipe Notes

I have seen other recipes where the prunes are soaked in alcohol (such as brandy) prior to being wrapped in bacon. Yum.

Sticks at the Ready - Go Retro with Wonderful Devils on Horseback www.compassandfork.com

24 Responses

  1. Sandi (@fearless_dining)
    | Reply

    These are a great idea for a game day snack 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      And simple. Plenty of time to prepare and cook them at half time. Thanks for your comment.

  2. April
    | Reply

    I have never eaten prunes before but I’m sure the saltiness of the bacon and sweetness of the dates are a good combo. Thanks for the little history lesson. I would rather eat prunes wrapped in bacon over oysters. I’m not a big oyster fan. 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      Each to their own. I think all the options are good! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Noel
    | Reply

    I’ve always known about Devils on Horseback, but wasn’t quite sure what the ingredients are. Thanks for the education!

    • Editor
      |

      No problem Noel, they are very moorish. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Sharee @ Savory Spicerack
    | Reply

    Wow I never heard of this recipe before! I can see how the flavors come together and make for a great appetizer!

    • Editor
      |

      Simple but sublime Sharee. Kids love them and not a bad way to get them to eat dried fruit. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Sarah
    | Reply

    These look awesome! Dates could be a great substitute too! Ooooh and then stuff them! The ideas I’m getting from this recipe…love!!

    • Editor
      |

      Hi Sarah, good for you. I have had dates stuffed with blue cheese, with the bacon wrapped around. Very nice. Thanks for your comment.

  6. theoldfatguy
    | Reply

    This does bring back memories and every thing is better with bacon. Nice post.

    The Old Fat Guy

    • Editor
      |

      Thank you so much. An oldie but a goldie, that’s for sure. Old fashioned recipes are coming back! Thanks for your comment.

  7. Julia @ bavarianpicure
    | Reply

    Love this simple recipe! Perfect for our New Years Eve Party. Thanks for sharing!

    • Editor
      |

      It will provoke some conversation, that’s for sure. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Anne Murphy
    | Reply

    I do like poking around old recipes – you find some neglected gems…

    Looking at the pictures – your bacon is closer to what we in the US would call Canadian Bacon – which is meatier than ours. (Ours is half fat, and some of these recipes can get downright greasy…) I’m used to that in specifically British or Irish recipes, but I hadn’t thought of this that way… It looks much more interesting to me – I have to remember to try it that way!

    • Editor
      |

      US bacon is different to anywhere else, I have to say that. A different taste as well. May be different curing methods. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Amanda
    | Reply

    I have never really eaten prunes, but I think I would definition be willing to try them wrapped in bacon! I especially like the idea of soaking them in brandy first. What a great appetizer!

    • Editor
      |

      Amanda, you will love it. And so easy. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Chris @ SimpleFood365
    | Reply

    This is a really interesting recipe! I have never seen it before but it sounds good. Love the history you brought to us too! Great Post!

    • Editor
      |

      Yes it is interesting and could it be any simpler? I know people have this thing about prunes but when they are baked with bacon wrapped around them they are superb. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Renee
    | Reply

    I never knew these things had a history or even a name for that matter! I have done something very similar with dates instead of prunes. I highly recommend slicing open the date (or prune) and stuffing it with a small amount of soft crumbly goat cheese (or blue cheese if you like) before you wrap it in bacon. It takes it in a whole other direction, but if you like these, you have to try those!!

    • Editor
      |

      Hi Renee, what a great idea with the cheese. That would make them even more delicious. Thanks for your comment.

  12. Sarah & Laura @Wandercooks
    | Reply

    Yum, I can imagine that salty sweet combination being quite a delightful taste. Would love to try this out one day. Love reading the history on it too.

    • Editor
      |

      They are quite tasty and so easy to make. Little ones will eat them as well! When you try them let us know hat you think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *