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
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the sprouts and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- 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.
- Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture.
Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the cream visibly boiling.