Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Monday, 6 January 2014

A Gratin of Sprouts and Bacon


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 I don't remember ever having Brussels Sprouts when I was a child.   They just were not a vegetable that was readily available back then. We basically only had peas and carrots and green beans and sometimes corn.  I can remember discovering sprouts as an adult and falling completely and totally in love with them, and with cauliflower and broccoli too.  I am a real brassica lover!    

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I got a huge bag of sprouts in my Christmas Vegetable Box and of course we did not use them all and so I sat here looking at them the other day and thought to myself, I better use them up before they go off and so I thought I would make a sort of gratin with them.  

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I did a search on line to see if I could find any suggestions and found what looked a lovely recipe on the BBC food web page by Sophie Grigson.  I like Sophie's recipes and so I thought I would use it as a basis for what I wanted to do myself . . .     

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So I loosely followed it,  cutting the amounts in half and then using pancetta lardons and more bread crumbs on top and grating the cheese coarser.  I also changed the way I put things together and added a bit of butter to the bread crumbs, because I thought it would make them extra tasty . . . and it did.  

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 In any case it was absolutely flippin delicious!  It made a fabulous side dish and in all truth I could have quite happily dined on it alone and nothing else!  Yes, I do love my sprouts!  And when you mix them with bacon, cream and cheese, I love them even more!  

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*A Gratin of Sprouts & Bacon*
Serves 4 

This is a recipe of Sophie Grigson's I adapted from the BBC Food webpage.  It's delicious.  

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 TBS butter
2 tsp sunflower oil
75g of pancetta lardons (about 1/2 cup)
a handful of flaked almonds
200ml of double cream (7 fluid ounces)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 TBS fresh soft bread crumbs
2 further tsp melted butter
3 TBS coarsely grated Parmesan Cheese
fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste    

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Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.   Add the sprouts and cook for about 4 minutes until crispy tender.  Drain well and set aside.  

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet.   Add the pancetta lardons and cook until they are beginning to turn golden brown.   Toss in the almonds and allow them to brown lightly.   Cut the sprouts in half and add them to the pan and cook them for a few minutes longer.  Butter a large shallow casserole dish and dump the sprout mixture in.  Season to taste with some salt and pepper.  Whisk together the cream and lemon juice and pour this over top of the sprouts.  

Melt the 2 tsp butter in the skillet and add the bread crumbs.  Toss to coat and cook for a few mintues until they begin to crisp up a bit.  Remove from the heat and mix together with the Parmesan Cheese.  Sprinkle this mixture eveny over top of the sprouts in the gratin dish.    

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.   Once it is heated place the gratin dish inside and roast the sprouts for 15 to 18 minutes until the cream is all bubbling up and the crumbs are golden brown.   Serve hot.
Note - As with most things these are even tastier the day after and reheated!


  1. Looks divine! Three of my favorite ingredients---Brussel sprouts, bacon, and cheese. YUM! I can't wait to give it a try.

  2. If you enjoy them even as half as we did Miranda, you will love them!!

  3. Looks great..just made some my daughter made at Christmas with bacon and maple syrup..Must admit they are so $$$ these days..and not that great looking here.

  4. They sound wonderful! I hope you had a happy new year!

  5. I live in the US and was wondering if double cream would be like heavy whipping cream, or half & half? I don't believe we have anything called double cream.

  6. Hi Michele, double cream is like heavy whipping cream. Hope this helps!

  7. Good to find more great sprout recipes. We have eaten tonnes over the holidays. I tried coleslaw with sprouts and it worked a treat - lots easier to chop than white cabbage! Thanks Marie

  8. You're quite welcome. I have never tried coleslaw with sprouts, but will give it a go. It sounds like a great idea!

  9. I should share this with my mother. My dad grows sprouts on his allotment and she's running out of ideas as to what to do with them. I think I'd try replacing the almonds with roasted chestnuts.

  10. Sounds a quite tasty addition Neil!!

  11. We used up the last of our Christmas sprouts with roast chestnuts, strips of red pepper, caramelized onions, slat, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Yum, yum. One of my most favourite ways to have them is stir fried, they're fantastic, you slice them all up really thinly, stir fry them and then add what you like! Bacon bits and a bit of grated cheese is good.

  12. I've done them that way as buttlers! Bacon makes everything even more delicious, don't you think? So does cheese!


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