Christmas Menu- Part 3; Brussel Sprout Gratin

The English have a bizarre tradition of eating Brussel Sprouts with every Christmas meal. Normally they are served over-boiled and soggy which is why I hate these green balls. This year however, thanks to a challenge laid down by a close friend of mine, and this recipe I am going to try to learn to love the sprout.

Brussel Sprout Gratin with bacon, cream and almonds

  • Experience level: beginner
  • Preparation time: 60 mins
  • Cooking time: 18-20 mins

Ingredients

  • 900g/2lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 20g/¾oz butter
  • 4 tsp sunflower oil
  • 150g/5oz bacon lardons (or rindless back bacon, cut into short fat strips)
  • 20g/¾oz flaked almonds
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream
  • 2½ tsp lemon juice
  • 5½ tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. Place the sprouts into a saucepan of simmering salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half.
  3. Place the butter and oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and almonds and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned.
  4. Add the sprouts and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for 2-4 minutes, until the cream has reduced to a rich sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.
  7. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture.

  8. Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the cream visibly boiling.

Recipe by Sophie Grigson
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