Brussels sprouts get a bad wrap. You feel you should really force them down. After all, it’s Christmas. You don’t really enjoy them, though. They might offer a temporary respite from the richness of everything else on your festive plate, but they’re nothing to get excited about, nothing that gets you fighting with the family for the last scraps of.
This recipe combines the strong, earthy flavour of sprouts with smoky, fatty bacon, hearty chestnuts and a kick of acidity from red wine or balsamic vinegar. It’s rich, delicious and unhealthy. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
- 700g brussels sprouts (peeled, washed and halfed)
- 1 pack (around 200g) smoked streaky bacon
- 1 pack (around 200g) chestnuts, vacuum packed
- 1 red onion
- Large glug of red wine (or balsamic vinegar if you prefer)
- 200ml chicken stock
- 15g salted butter
- Melt your butter in a thick-bottomed pan on the hob, then fry the red onion in it at a medium heat
- After about 2 or 3 minutes, add the bacon, chopped into small strips
- After a minute or two more (once the bacon has some colour), add sprouts, along with chicken stock.
- After about 5 minutes, in go your chestnuts, along with the red wine or balsamic vinegar. Wine is the better option.
- Allow the mix to boil down at a low heat for at least 15-20 minutes. Add a little more wine or pop the lid on your pan if it’s drying out. It’s ready when the sprouts are soft and cooked. You want sprouts that are coated in a thick sauce, with little excess stock lingering.