Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon
Christmas dinner can so easily be let down by bland, boring vegetable side dishes. So I thought I would share with you one of my all time favourite Christmas side dishes.
Growing up in England, Christmas dinner was always a huge event for my poor mum. The vegetables always took a back seat to the main masterpiece of the meat, but this needs to be changed. Vegetables should be made to compliment the main dish and this recipe can show you how to make a showstopper vegetable dish.
Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and bacon will accompany any roast bird perfectly. Before you turn your nose up at the sprouts just know that these little guys can be delicious with the addition of salty, streaky bacon and chestnuts. I used to hate them as a boy but that is because they were always boiled (Sorry Mum!). So here is my recipe for a life-changing mouthful of tasty brussels sprouts!
Fresh brussesl sprouts 400g
Good quality streaky bacon (I use Richard Bosman) 200g
Fresh chestnuts 100g
Olive oil 20ml (I use Willow Creek)
Thyme 2 sprigs
Garlic 1 clove
Good quality sea salt
Par-boil the brussels sprouts for 2 minutes in salted boiling water. Refresh in ice water then drain and set to one side. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the chopped bacon until crisp and golden.
Add the sprouts, crushed garlic, thyme sprigs and butter, season with salt and cook for 2 minutes.
Slice the chestnuts into quarters and add to the pan. Stir all the ingredients together in the foamy nut-brown butter.
Serve while hot and pour over the juices from the pan.