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.
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.