Sprouts – you either love them or hate them, right?
Many believe the hype, and think that they’re supposed to hate them. Others hate them because they have a memory of the grey, overcooked version which was part of many a childhood Christmas.
Mr Saturday Night, who is definitely in the ‘hate ’em’ camp, had 2 portions of these when I tried this recipe recently. So this recipe may well change your mind too.. I absolutely loved them!
It’s from Pamela in Australia, who is changing the world, one Brussels Sprout at a time..
If you’re doing these for the big Christmas dinner may I suggest that you prepare them – cut off the base and outer leaves, etc on Christmas Eve, then keep them covered and chilled until you’re ready to cook them. Cooking only takes 10 minutes or so.
I don’t recommend reheating them either. Freshly done is definitely best when it comes to Sprouts!
- A large frying pan
- A slotted spoon
- a sheet of kitchen paper
- small measuring jug
- A warmed serving dish
INGREDIENTS: To feed 6-8 people as part of a Christmas dinner.
You won’t need to add salt.
- 1Kg/2lbs fresh Brussels Sprouts. See NOTES
- 6-8 rashers of unsmoked Streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 150mls Chicken Stock – low salt version if possible.
- 100mls cream
- A knob of Butter – optional
- Freshly ground Black pepper
- Prepare and halve the brussels Sprouts. They should all be a similar size, so large ones halved, small ones left intact.
- Dry fry the bacon until the fat runs, and it becomes crispy.
- Remove the bacon with the slotted spoon, and drain on the kitchen paper. Leave the fat in the pan.
- Add the prepared and halved Brussels Sprouts, and stir fry them for about 4 minutes until they char a little. You’ll get a few loose leaves, but don’t worry about them..
- Add the stock and move the sprouts around. Reduce the heat a little and allow to cook, and the liquid to reduce, for 4-5 minutes. Test with the tip of a sharp knife to make sure the sprouts are almost cooked.
- If the liquid has reduced too much, melt in a good knob of butter and mix it through the Brussels Sprouts.
- Add the cream and bacon pieces back into the pan. Turn up the heat slightly to thicken up the cream.
- Give a really good grinding of black peppercorns over the dish. You won’t need salt as there’s plenty in the stock and bacon.
- Prepare ahead: Cut off the bases and outer leaves of the sprouts. Halve any large ones. Cover and chill until needed. You can pre-cook the bacon to save time. Keep it covered and chilled too.
- As a general rule, you’ll lose about half the weight of the sprouts when you prepare them – so 1kg will give you about 500g. Consider though, that there will be other vegetables served with Christmas dinner – we all have favourite or traditional additions to our Christmas dinners, so don’t over-cater. Reheated Sprouts are not recommended!
- Stir frying the Sprouts in bacon fat gives them an initial cooking, which is followed up with the 4-5 minutes in the hot stock as it reduces. I’d recommend tasting a large piece at this stage just to make sure they’re cooking as intended.
- If you’re short of hob space on Christmas day, just wait until virtually everything else is cooked before starting the sprouts. That way you should have gained a little space.