SPROUTS WITH SMOKY BACON

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Sprouts are a bit like marmite you either love them or hate them! For all the haters out there give this recipe a go, it’s a deliciously sweet combination of seasonal flavours. Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and fibre. Some sources trace sprouts back to ancient China whilst others claim they originated much later and were grown in the area around Brussels sprouts in the thirteenth century.

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Ingredients

500g Brussels sprouts (tough ends removed and then halved)
3 Thyme sprigs on stalks
150g Smoked bacon lardons
6 rashers Smoked streaky bacon
¼ cup Beer (Preferably dark ale and extra for the Chef!)
2tbsp Wholegrain mustard
2tbsp Maple syrup
½tsp Salt
2tbsp Unsalted butter
100g Panko breadcrumbs
100g Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200C/400F/220C Fan
2. In a small bowl, combine the beer, mustard, maple syrup and salt whilst pouring the rest of the beer for yourself
3. Place the streaky bacon between two sheets of baking parchment, then between 2 heavy trays and cook in the oven until crispy. Pat dry with kitchen roll removing all excess grease and place to one side to cool 
4. In a large cast iron pan or high sided skillet, over a medium heat, cook the bacon lardons until crispy- this should take about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate 
5. In the same pan or skillet over a medium heat, sear the sprouts cut side down until golden brown on the bottom for about 5 minutes
6. Stir in the prepared beer mixture, thyme and bacon lardons
7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the sprouts are tender and the liquid has reduced. This should take about 10 minutes
8. Meanwhile, blitz the cooled crispy streaky bacon and panko breadcrumbs in a food processor 
9. In a heavy based saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the panko bacon breadcrumbs and parmesan and toast until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add chopped parsley.
10. To serve, transfer the sprouts to a large serving platter or bowl and sprinkle with toasted bacon and Parmesan cheese crumb