Brussels Sprouts- once you try this way you’ll never go back

Never before have I picked at the Brussels sprouts while preparing the the Christmas dinner but last year the stuffing got a break and the sprouts were my “dishing” up nibble of choice. This recipe makes them so moreish, bringing out the best in them and it includes bacon/pancetta. What more could you ever wish for in a Brussels Sprouts recipe? I’ve tried the cooking two ways and I can’t decide which is nicer, and one requires more chopping but less washing up so choose whichever you prefer on that score.


Brussels sprouts with bacon and almonds – two ways 

One string bag of Brussels sprouts (500g approx)
125g pancetta cubes (or equivalent of streaky rashers chopped)
75g  flaked almonds or whole almonds (or more if you love them)
A knob of butter

Method one (Kevin Dundon style)

Kevin steams them first, so this might work well if you want to prep your veg early and reheat by tossing in the pan, this is what I did last year.

  1. Trim Brussels sprout, removing the rough outer leaves, then make a cross with a sharp knife in the bottom of each
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil,  add the sprouts and boil for about 6 minutes (DON’T OVERCOOK!), then strain.
  3. While they are cooking melt the butter in a large pan and  fry the pancetta until cooked on a medium heat.
  4. (You could walk away now and come back to this step before you serve dinner)  Add the sprouts and toss around in the pan, get them well coated and piping hot.
  5. Season with a little salt and pepper and then scatter in the almonds, mix it around  to toast them on the pan.
  6. Pick at them before you serve them

Method 2 (Nigel Slater style)

  1. 1. Slice the sprouts. (it’s not sacrilege, honest)
  2. Heat the butter on a frying pan over a low heat.
  3. Fry  the pancetta for about a minute then add the sliced sprouts and saute for another 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds and stir in, cook til toasted, about another minute or two.
  5. Feast on the sprouts.

I can’t decide which method I’ll use this year, but the ingredients will be the same one way or another. Nigel’s wins on the lack of washing of pots but I do like a whole sprout so maybe it’ll be Kevin’s.

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