Here’s TWO great recipes to prove that bacon, really does, make everything taste better
- SERVES: 4
- PREP TIME: 10 mins
- COOKING TIME: 30 mins
- DIFFICULTY: easy
- IDEAL FOR: Christmas
- BUDGET: £
Does anyone really enjoy Brussels sprouts?
I know Tim would say he does, but really? If he had a choice??
I see it as more of a Christmas challenge than a veggie delight.
How can I make these little cabbage grenades get whisked off the serving plate faster than you can say ‘Rudolf the Reindeer’ this Christmas?
Bacon is the champion
My go-to, which stands the test of time is to add… bacon.
As my Toby has always stated growing up… ‘bacon always makes everything taste better’
He’s wiser than his years.
Bacon and butter
I would add to that, so does butter!
Ok, heart attack alert but it’s Christmas.
And everything in moderation… with a nice glass of red as you cook. Lol
Tried and tested
So, I’ve taken upon myself to do a couple of pre-Christmas brussels sprouts trials.
Which I hope will help with your-brussels-sprout-Christmas-Day-challenge.
And at the same time, we’ll all be supporting our homegrown brussels sprout industry.
While keeping up the brussels sprout tradition but with a twist.
Question is…will Grandma like one of these new versions though?!! Dun, dun, dahhh!!…
Watch this space!
OK, a sneaky third recipe idea…
Just before you take a look at the two recipes I’ve trialled, there is a third which I have done over the years.
It’s very simple and for the purest, it’s the closest I can get to just boiled sprouts (yuck).
All you need is:
- Brussels Sprouts (halve them if bigger than a mouthful)
- Sliced onion
- Walnuts or chestnuts (halved)
- Bacon!! Or even better, pancetta
- Boil your sprouts until they are bright green or just becoming tender (approx. 5 minutes)
- In a pan on a medium-hot heat, add oil. Then add your sliced onion and bacon/pancetta and let cook until the onion softens and the bacon starts to brown a little.
- Add in your walnuts and your sprouts.
- Add a little butter.
- Season and stir it all together.
Here are the two recipes that I can recommend if you need a change or have family who refuse to touch these little green grenades.
Creamed Brussels Sprouts with pancetta and walnuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 100 g pancetta or bacon
- 1 kg Brussels sprouts, halved and sliced thinly
- 1 cup halved walnuts
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- zest of lemon
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese or cheddar or Fontina
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- chopped parsley for garnish
- chilli flakes for garnish
- Get your oven to 190 °C ( 375° F)
- In a frying pan or oven dish (easier as you can just use one dish then), over a medium heat, add the oil. Then the onions and cook until softened.Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so.Add in your pancetta and fry until cooked (and a little crispy if you like it like that)Next, add your Brussels sprouts and cook until tender and lastly your walnuts for another minute.Then remove from the heat to cool.
- In a bowl add the Greek yoghurt, mayonnaise, eggs, cheeses, lemon zest, sales and pepper and mix together.Pour this mix over the Brussels sprouts and mix altogether.Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until bubbling and going golden.
- Garnish with the chilli flakes and parsley and serve to a newly delighted Brussels sprouts fan!
Smashed Brussels sprouts with pancetta and walnuts
- 1 kg Brussels Sprouts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella (tear it up)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Parsley for garnish (and Pomegranate for a bit of festive colour)
- 100 g pancetta or bacon
- 1/2 cup walnuts, halved
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C (425 °F). Get a large bowl and fill with cold water or iced water for the Brussels sprouts.
- In a frying pan, add your pancetta (or bacon) and cook to how you like it (I like a little crispy). Add your walnuts and cook for another minute or so. Then set to the side.
- Boil the Brussels sprouts in salted water until bright green (approx 10 mins) and tender. Then drain the hot water out and transfer into the bowl filled with iced water (or just cold water) to stop them cooking.
- On a tray, toss the Brussels sprouts, pancetta and walnuts and with olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and then use a flat surface (like the bottom of a jar) to press down on the sprouts to smash them.
- Sprinkle the cheeses over top and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden and the sprouts are crispy on the bottom.
- Garnish and serve 🙂
I am linking this up to CookBlogShare