How to Prepare Brussel Sprouts

Christmas Brussel Sprouts and Bacon with decoration, gifts, green tree branch on wooden rustic table.
Copyright: funandrejss

Brussel sprouts or just sprouts are one of those vegetables that have to be eaten with roasts. They’ve come back into fashion and work extremely well with any roast dinner.

They are extremely good for you but they do need to be cooked properly. Undercooked and they taste raw inside and overdone makes them mushy and tasteless. What you are looking for is a wholesome ball of green cabbage taste in the positive sense.

Brussels are also extremely versatile and work well with shards of salty bacon and chestnuts which lend a slightly fatty tasty note to the vegetable. The lardons and chestnuts are an option though but recommended to lift this dish. It’s also a good alternative to braised cabbage although this recipe would suit those who find Brussel sprouts too bitter. 

The recipe is one that helps get those brussels ready for any dinner. If you do the cross version, the brussels can be prepared the night before and stored in the fridge. They can only be left for 24 hours though that way otherwise they do start to brown.

Serves 4 to 6 with a preparation time and a cooking time of 10 minutes each.

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 500g Brussel sprouts
  • 170g canned and peeled chestnuts cut into pieces – at least in quarters. Do this beforehand.
  • 180g bacon lardons (optional)
  • vegetable oil or even lard for frying, if using lardons
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and black pepper to season

 Preparation:

  1. Break up the chestnuts into pieces.
  2. (Optional part). If you are using lardons for flavour just cut some bacon into strips about an inch (2.5cm) long and ½inch wide and thick. If these are used, fry them in a very hot frying pan with a little lard until they are very crisp, then drain them on paper towels while you start cooking the sprouts.
  3.  Discard the outer leaves of each sprout, trim off the very bottom, and then either cut a cross in the base which is about ½inch deep or slice each sprout lengthways into thin slices. 
  4. Melt the butter with the water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the sprouts and mix well to cover them with a thin layer of butter. 
  6. Cover the pan and simmer until the sprouts are just hot through but still crunchy, four to five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7.  Place the cooked sprouts in a serving dish, sprinkle with the lardons if that’s what you want and serve immediately.
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