Pig shots are one of the more wonderful things to come out of the world of barbecue, in my opinion. These are my favorite appetizer to make (even higher up than brisket rolls), and they’re always a hit at parties.

I tried to figure out where these originated, but I came up empty-handed. It’s a mystery. I learned how to make them on a barbecue forum years back, and they’re one of my favorite things to make.

I’ll give you the basics here and show you how I make them, but absolutely feel free to adapt them to your tastes and make them your own. I’ve seen many different variations from lots of different folks, so experiment and see what you come up with.

If you’ve never seen or heard of them before, you’re basically going to make a little “shot glass” by using a thick slice of sausage as the bottom, and then you’re going to make the sides of the glass by wrapping a half-strip of bacon around each sausage slice. Then you’re going to fill them with some sort of cream cheese concoction (or whatever else you’d like), top them with either some brown sugar or your favorite barbecue dry rub, and throw them on the smoker.

I’m not going to put quantities here for the most part, because it really depends on how many you want to make, how thick you slice the sausage, and how many strips of bacon are in the package that you buy. Typically, I’ll get 20 or so out of one pack of bacon and one sausage, and two packs of cream cheese and one can of diced jalapenos makes enough filling. Here’s what you’re going to need:

For the “shot glasses”:

Sausage (I like to use Polish Kielbasa)

Thick-sliced bacon (don’t use the thin stuff…it doesn’t hold it’s shape. I’ve tried.)

Toothpicks or skewers

For the filling:

Cream cheese

Diced jalapenos

Heavy cream (optional)

Brown sugar, or your favorite barbecue rub

Zip-top bags or a piping bag, for filling the glasses

Instructions:

Start by slicing the sausage into medallions, about 1/2″ thick.

Then take your bacon and cut it in half, width-wise.

Take a slice of sausage and wrap a half-strip of bacon around it, forming your shot glass. You can either run a toothpick through each one to hold the bacon in place, or you can put several of them on a skewer. I prefer using skewers.

Repeat until you have enough (although there are never enough of these, trust me) or until you run out of sausage or bacon.

If you have room, place the shot glasses in the fridge on a baking sheet while you make the filling to firm the bacon up a bit.

Preheat your smoker, or your oven (if you really wanna be that person) to 250 degrees F. You can use just about any wood you want for these, but I really love apple for pig shots. Experiment…I promise it’ll be good no matter what wood you use!

Next, mix your filling. I like to do this in the food processor, but you can do it in a mixer or by hand also. I typically use a ratio of 1/2 of a 4-ounce can of diced jalapenos for every 8-ounce brick of cream cheese that I use. Increase or decrease depending on how spicy you’d like them.

Once the jalapenos and cream cheese are thoroughly mixed, I like to mix in heavy cream, a little at a time, to thin it out a bit…until it’s a good piping consistency.

Take the cream cheese mixture and transfer it into a piping bag or a zip-top bag, whichever you have laying around.

Bring the pig shots back out to the counter, cut off one of the corners of the zip-top bag, and fill each shot glass. Stay a little below the top of the glass, as the bacon will shrink a bit and the cream cheese mixture puffs up a little during cooking.

Top them off by sprinkling on a little brown sugar or your favorite bbq rub.

Place the pig shots on the smoker at around 250 degrees F, and let them cook for about 30 minutes.

Once they’ve taken on a bit of smoke, raise the temperature to 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the tops are well-browned and the bacon is nicely cooked through.

And there you have it, pig shots the way I make them. Are you drooling yet?

Make sure you scarf a couple down before you bring them in the house…they go fast!

I hope you liked the recipe and I hope you try it out. Enjoy, and keep smoking.