Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as side dish/ accompaniment
Brussles sprouts, Love them or loathe them, even just a token Brussels sprout is a must on every festive plate! Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae family. They grow on a thick vertical stalk and when they are ready to harvest, they are plump and bright green. Brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbages and have a sweet, nutty flavour. If possible, buy sprouts that are still attached to the stalk as these are fresher and will taste the best, then trim off any loose or damaged leaves. Look for small, firm sprouts that have tightly wrapped leaves and avoid any with yellowing leaves. There is much debate over whether you should cut a cross in the bottom of sprouts before cooking them. Some people think it makes them cook more evenly, but personally I think this is an old wives’ tale. If you think it makes a difference, then please don’t let me stand in the way of tradition.
Ingredients & Method
- 400g (prepared weight) trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon goose fat
- 100g diced smoked streaky bacon rashers
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon clear honey,
- 50g fresh shelled sweet chestnuts or roughly chopped hazelnuts
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Cook the sprouts in a pan of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes or until just tender.
Transfer to a colander using a slotted spoon, then shake to remove as much water as possible.
While the sprouts are cooking, melt goose fat in a large, non-stick frying pan, then add bacon and cinnamon stick and sauté over a high heat for 3–4 minutes or until the bacon turns golden. Add the drained sprouts, along with honey, chestnuts and seasoning.
Sauté for a further 1 minute to heat the sprouts all the way through, then reduce the heat to medium, add the orange zest and juice and cook for 10 seconds. Transfer to a serving dish (discard the cinnamon stick) and serve immediately. Serves 4 as an accompaniment.
You can cook the sprouts a day in advance, then drain, cool and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. As the turkey is about to be carved, sauté the sprouts with the rest of the ingredients, as directed above, until hot, then serve. Cooking them in advance makes life a lot easier and less stressful and there is no difference in the taste – trust me!