Monday, December 19, 2011

Spectacular Sprouts

With less than a week to go, people are frantically planning their Christmas dinner and half of the country is probably mentally shuddering at the thoughts of rock hard stinky brussels sprouts contaminating their plate of turkey and ham.  My brother in law is a sprouts hater but one year I decided he wasn't going to get his own way and refuse to eat them, so I fried them with pancetta, put them on his plate and kept quiet.  He ate the lot.  That's all the proof I needed to know that if you change the way you cook something, then you can convert the haters.

The trick is to shred the sprouts from the base upwards and then separate them into strands with your hands - they just look like shredded savoy cabbages when you do this.  I also steam or microwave them very briefly, just to par-cook them before adding them to my shallots and pancetta.  Any leftovers can be turned into fantastic bubble and squeak if you have some mashed potato lying around... and we usually have 3 or 4 types of potato with Christmas dinner, so this should be easy enough to sort out!

Spectacular Sprouts

300g Brussels Sprouts, trimmed & shredded
100g Pancetta
2-3 Shallots, cut into thin slices
1 clove Garlic, minced
Zest of half a Lemon

Heat a large frying pan and cook the pancetta until it starts to colour.  Add the shallots and garlic, and continue to cook until the pancetta is crispy.

In the meantime, steam or microwave (1 min) the sprouts.  Add the shredded sprouts to the crispy pancetta and shallots and fry for another 2-3 minutes until the sprouts start to colour.

Add the lemon zest and some freshly ground black pepper, taste for seasoning and serve.


  1. I make something very similar only I quarter the shallots and sprouts. Love Brussels sprouts.

  2. I have to disguise the "sproutiness" to make certain people eat it, hence the shredding...