Dutch Saucijsjes (aka Dutch Pig in the Blanket)

December 30, 2011

I’d like to take a minute and introduce you to a very special woman, my grandma Dorothy Bomgaars. Dorothy is my mother’s mother and happens to be a very good (Dutch) cook. My mom grew up on a farm in Iowa with four brothers, and my grandma was in charge of feeding a family of seven every day. I can’t imagine cooking for that many people every day.

And although she will be 91 in March, my grandma is incredibly sharp and tech-savvy. She reads Espresso and Cream faithfully and has a keen eye for the stock markets.

While I was home in northwest Iowa over Christmas break, my mom suggested we invite my grandma and cousin, Angela, over so my grandma could teach us how to make a very special Dutch food – saucijsjes (pronounced suh-sigh-shees). I grew up eating these Dutch treats. Although I no longer eat them, I thought it would be interesting to learn the tried and true method of making them from my grandma. Since, as we all know, grandmothers make things better than the rest of us do.

Although the name might suggest otherwise, sausijsjes are actually quite simple to make. They are slightly time consuming. But since the recipe actually calls for you to freeze the sausijsjes before baking them, you can make a double batch and store the extras in the freezer for a quick dinner or Sunday brunch.

What makes these little pig in the blankets so special are the nuances in preparation and method. Things I wouldn’t have learned unless I had my grandma there as a guide. Since the ultra-flaky pastry is chock full of butter, you have to bake the saucijsjes on a piece of paper sack from a paper grocery bag. The paper absorbs the extra grease and prevents the pastry from getting soggy. And don’t even think about skipping the freezing step. It helps the pastry rise and flake when you bake them.

Many of the ingredients we gathered to make the saucijsjes were only available to us because we live in a very Dutch community. At Woudstra Meat Market downtown, you can buy a special meat mixture called ‘saucijsje meat’, and even the bread-crumbs come from a dutch bread called Rusk, which is crumbled into the meat. I’ve done my best to adapt the recipe for those of you who don’t have access to such specific Dutch ingredients, hoping the results will turn out as delightful for you as they did for us.

Dutch Saucijsjes (aka Dutch Pig in the Blanket)
For the Pastry
*5 cups all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 tsp. salt
*2 tsp. baking powder
*1 Tbsp. sugar
*3 sticks margarine
*1/2 cup shortening/Crisco (my grandma used lard)
*2 eggs, lightly beaten
*1 1/2 cups whole milk

For the Meat Filling
*3 lbs. saucijsje meat (or 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef and 1 1/2 lbs. ground pork)
*2 eggs, lightly beaten
*4 Dutch rusk, finely crumbled (or 2/3 c dry plain bread crumbs)
*1 tsp. dried sage
*3/4 tsp. salt
*1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

*Combine all the ingredients for the meat filling until well combined. FOrm into log-shaped pieces, about 2 inches in length (see second photo). Transfer to a large baking pan. Set aside. You should have around 38 to 40 small meat logs.
*For the dough, in a large bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Add in the margarine and shortening and blend with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse peas. Add in the egg and milk and stir until well combine. Knead with your hands to form a soft ball of dough.
*Transfer dough to a well-floured countertop and roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into rectangles big enough to completely cover your meat logs.
*Wrap meat in dough, being careful to seal the seam shut with your fingers by pinching together. Transfer to a baking sheet to freeze, seam side down. Repeat with remaining dough and meat.
*Freeze for at least four hours or up to two months.
*To bake, line a baking pan with a sheet of brown paper grocery sack. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place saucijsjes on baking sheet. Brush with egg whites. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 40 saucijsjes

Happy Cooking!


  • Reply Greenpolyesterdream May 26, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I hunted for awhile for a good recipe for “Piggies” and decided to use this one. The measurements didn’t work for me at all, the dough was very runny. I thought I had measured incorrectly and started over. To get a proper consistency I had to use 7 cups of flour and then chilled it for an hour. Is there a trick I might have missed?

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      I was so worried about your comment that I decided to give the recipe another go this morning just to be sure the measurements were right. Everything worked out just fine for me with the measurements listed. The dough is slightly more wet than a traditional pie pastry, which is essential to giving the pastry a nice flaky crust that everyone knows and loves in Dutch pig in the blankets.

      I would recommend making sure you work with a well-floured surface when you roll the dough out, to ‘work it’ as little as possible (since your hands will give off warmth and melt the butter in the dough if you work it too much), and to keep it in the fridge if you’re not planning on using it immediately. Also, make sure that the butter is cold. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Anne Marie Davis November 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks Madison! I was looking for a way to cook (and pronounce) these. I bought some at the hospital bake sale. I definatly need to try making them though. I just about jumped up and down when I saw “Woudstra’s Meat Market” in your post 🙂

  • Reply Jessica January 25, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Oh Hi Madison!
    So, I was looking for some nutritional value stuff about these wonderful things and telling my housemate that I found your blog and all of a sudden the world got very small… Amy Korver (sister of Kar from MOCi) says HI!

    • Reply Madison Mayberry January 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Oh Jessica, what a small world it is! I’m afraid I would be scared to find out the nutrition on these babies. Ha! Pass my hello along as well!

  • Reply Trish November 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I was looking for a recipe for my son’s heritage supper at school, and I couldn’t find my cookbook from back home. So I looked on Google and found this recipe. I thought your grandma looked so familiar along with her name. When I finally found my Central Reformed Chirch cookbook, I found it was the same recipe from your grandma!! What a small world!!

  • Reply Jennifer Deppe March 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    We are giving these a try tonight for dinner! My 4 year old and I spent the morning mixing and rolling and measuring. She is so excited to try them. We had to use some substitutes for this batch but we are from a Dutch area so we are hoping to use Rusk next time. Thank you for sharing your Grandmother’s recipe!

  • Reply Calla December 20, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you! I grew up in NW Iowa and remember these fondly!! I literally was just talking on the phone with my mom telling her nothing could beat the Dutch Pigs in the Blanket! I love that I found this! Thank you so much for sharing!! — and ditto on the dutch reformed cook book! 🙂 childhood memories with my Gma in deed! xo

  • Reply Stephen Hielkema March 21, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Just made these for our church Brunch – fantastic recipe – just like home – OC 1969-1985,
    MOC – 81, NWC – 85

    • Reply Madison Mayberry March 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Oh that makes me so happy! Always happy to hear from a former OC resident!

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