Brussel Sprouts – love them or hate them!

IMG_8648[1]Brussel sprouts generally get a bad press as a tasty vegetable. They would come into what I would deem to be the Marmite category – you either love them or you hate them. Well, in my household we are definitely in the love them camp.

Little mini cabbages is how my youngest daughter describes them and who would’ve thought that a young child would actually be asking for more sprouts on their plate where some adults won’t even look at them and give them a completely wide berth!

Now I don’t know if you’re like me in so much as you’re already planning what’s going to be on your Christmas dinner table but I definitely know that sprouts will be one of the vegetables that will take pride of place! I wouldn’t like to face the wrath of my family if they weren’t there.

Growing your own sprouts does take a long period of time as they require a minimum of six months to grow before they can be harvested, but they are almost definitely worth the wait, that is if other people keep their hands off them.

I know of an allotmenteer who planted sprouts in preparation for their Christmas meal, only to go to their plots a few days before Christmas to realise that someone had stolen every last one!IMG_8650[1]

Now as someone who loves to grow their own veg you’d be mistaken into thinking that I wasn’t a fan of frozen vegetables. Well, actually I am. They are an ideal substitute for fresh produce when you’re unable to get your hands them and we do love our sprouts, so sometimes I must admit, our sprouts come to our plates in the form of deep frozen specimens.

I agree that the flavour and taste of fresh produce always supersedes frozen, but just incase someone decides to help themselves to my sprout plants on my plot, I’ve taken the liberty of stocking the freezer with frozen brussels sprouts just in case!

Courtesy once again to Delia, this is how we will be preparing ours on the big day.

Brussels Sprouts in Riesling with Bacon

  • 700g Brussels sprouts
  • 75ml Riesling wine
  • 110g smoked bacon rashes with rinds
  • 1 level dessertspoon of butter
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the rinds off the bacon rashers and, in your very largest frying pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat. Keeping the heat to a minimum, add the bacon rinds to the pan and let them gently cook and release their fat, which will permeate the butter. Meanwhile snip the bacon rashers into small pieces, then add them to the pan along with the shallots and garlic to begin cooking.

While that’s happening, place the sprouts in a steamer, sprinkle them with salt, and steam them over boiling water for 4 minutes or so which should be enough just to half-cook them. After that turn the heat up under the frying pan, add the sprouts and toss them around for 2 or 3 minutes or until they begin to take on a little colour.

Now turn the heat up high, pour in the wine and let it bubble and reduce while you constantly turn the sprouts over and over to soak up the flavour of the wine. As soon as the sprouts are tender and the wine has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, transfer them to a serving dish, add a little freshly milled pepper and serve straightaway.

Happy cookin’


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10 Responses to Brussel Sprouts – love them or hate them!

  1. suburbanstead says:

    I love Brussels sprouts! One of my earliest memory was harvesting them in my grandfather’s garden, eating them straight off the stalk. They’re incredible fresh– crunchy and spicy. I once threw a fit as a toddler in the grocery store because my Mom wouldn’t buy them. She hated them. Needless to say, it drew the stares of other shoppers puzzled at the nature of the tantrum.

    I cooked them for Thanksgiving this year, using a recipe I found in Bon Appetit magazine. Sauteed, with shallots and cubed Pancetta. I’m pleased to say that I think I converted a few non-fans.

    Brussels sprouts in Riesling and bacon sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    • It’s nice to know that there are others like me who absolutely love sprouts! When cooked with the bacon they taste great. I’d be interested in your recipe that you used for Thanksgiving.

  2. MrsYub says:

    Brussel sprouts are awesome, so long as they are not overcooked 😉
    AND I’ve discovered in recent years that home grown ones are sweeter than store bought!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog – I’ve enjoyed looking at yours too. And, yum, another Brussels sprouts recipe – I’m going to try it!

  4. Barbara says:

    Debbi you just make everything sound so tasty looking forward to my Christmas dinner now whilst eating my sprouts I shall be thinking of you lol x hope you and your family have a merry christmas and a happy new year

  5. carole195 says:

    Had no idea you could cook sprouts like that, I’ve only ever boiled or steamed them!

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