Monday 13 October 2008

The best ever Brussel Sprouts (with Bacon and Shallots)

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It definitely is autumn now! How do I know? Well, there are a number of things, I've started to make soup again, the leaves outside my window are turning and plenty of them are to be found in big piles on the ground, I've occasionally put the heating on for a few hours, all big give-aways I know, but best of all, and definitely a sign that summer is over: I can buy fresh brussel sprouts at the green grocer's again!

Yes, that does make me a very happy bunny. From absolutely hating them as a kid (I learned recently that our taste buds die as we grow up and that's why we start liking some foods that as children we might have considered too bitter or too hot etc.) sprouts have quickly made their way up the 'Sylvie's Favourite Vegetables Ladder' and definitely reside in my top five these days. And yes, I'm fully aware that for a lot of people they'd probably be in their bottom five.

I love them just simply steamed with some butter and nutmeg, but the best way to have them in my opinion is this Rachel Ray recipe. The first time I made them this way was for a Christmas dinner, even D.'s stepmother who usually doesn't particularly embrace change and new ways of cooking old favourites, asked the next year if I'd make my special sprouts again. Then I made them for my family in Germany and where they also went down very well. So, if you want to raise the good old sprout to a whole new level, give this recipe a go. You might even transform some sprout haters into sprout likers, if not lovers!


This is also my entry for the Eating with Seasons - October event hosted by Maninas: Food Matters, because as I said, sprouts have just started to re-appear after their long summer break in all the green grocers and supermarkets here in the UK!

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots (serves 4)

3 rashers bacon, chopped into small bits
1tbsp olive oil
2shallots, chopped finely
1 1/2lb smallish brussel sprouts, trimmed
1 cup good quality chicken or vegetable stock
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

In a frying pan, fry your bacon until brown and starting to crisp.

Remove the bacon from the pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil and shallots for a couple of minutes, until they start to soften.

Now add the sprouts and fry for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, put on a lid and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender.

Top with the bacon bits and serve.



Deborah said...

We grew Brussels sprouts this year and are getting ready to harvest them. I'm pretty sure I have this recipe bookmarked already, but if not, I definitely will now!!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This may just convert me into a brussel sprout LOVER. I have seen several recipes that are tempting me:D

Peter M said...

Got me some brussel sprouts going on as we speak (similar to dish) and damn tasty.

fleur said...

HMMM! As nice as they look in the picture Im not sure I can be tempted by this 1, I have bad bad brussel sprout memories! Glad you are enjoying them

jane said...

I actually have some sprouts in the freezer from last year. (Maybe I shouldn't admit that!). You've reminded me of a sort of stir fry I did with sprouts - I'll have to go and dig that recipe out, and do your's too of course!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hi Sylvie - found you via "An English Girl Rambles". Don't mind sprouts and have tried them with bacon in the past but your recipe looks delicious - will certainly give it a try. Thanks


Sam said...

Brussels sprouts and bacon are made for each other!
We had something similar to this last Christmas which was really good.

Anne said...

Mmmm brussel sprouts, one of my favourite vegetables!

recipe sounds great :)

Raquel said...

I actually like sprouts. This sounds like a good recipe for them. Thanks for sharing! Much love, Raquel XO

Rosie said...

I was the same just disliked Brussels sprouts as a child now I can't get enough of them as a veg on my plate. Great recipe thanks for sharing with us :)

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

I too, always hated brussel sprouts until I "grew up". Interesting about the tastebuds! Recipe sounds really great!

Sylvie said...

Deborah, now I'm jealous. I bet they taste even better from your own garden.

Val, if not a lover maybe you could try for appreciator.

Peter, two great minds!

Flower, I've learned to overcome my bad sprout memories and believe me I've got some. Did I mention the year we had loads from our neighbour's garden and they all had a little extra protein in them in the form of worms?! Blech!

Jane, stir-fry sounds good.

Strawberry Jam Anne, I'm glad you found me! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Sam, I couldn't agree more.

Anne, a woman after my own heart.

Raquel, can't wait to see your pictures.

Rosie, I'm just like you.
Susan, my friend told me that the other week. I've never checked if it's true, but sounds plausible to me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love sprouts! I haven't had the opportunity to cook any yet this year but I can't wait. This looks like a lovely way to eat them.

Jan said...

Looks Lovely! Nigel Slater does a similar recipe, which I've done a few times - sooo yummy!

Marie Rayner said...

Those sprouts look delish Sylvie! I make some that are quite similar as well. Yummo!

Maria said...

I love brussel sprouts! No one in my family does though so I rarely get them!

Angie said...

Brussell's Sprouts is one of the very few veg I actually can eat only when they have been cooked to death! Is there anyone else in the world who likes them cooked within an inch of their lives? I fancy this recipe though so I will give it a go.
Angie, xx

Jaime said...

i've never had brussels sprouts before but i know everything is good w/bacon ;)

Kelly-Jane said...

I love brussel sprouts, these look lovely :)

Gloria Baker said...

Really I love brussel sprouts, are sotasty and this look so nice, xGloria

test it comm said...

A simple a tasty way to enjoy brussels sprouts!

Abitofafoodie said...

I'll admit that I'm not really a sprout-lover but enhanced with bacon and shallots? I may well be ripe for conversion!

David Hall said...

An incredibly under-rated vegetable - I love them with bacon and chestnuts, roll on Xmas day!


Sylvie said...

Ginger, the first time in the new season always seems to be the very best to me.

Jan, I'll have to look up his version.

Marie, have you got yours up on your blog? I'm always up for further improvement!

Maria, I know what you mean about not getting the things you really like often enough if the people you live with don't really like them.

Angie, I do prefer mine with a bit of bite, but you're right they are still okay if they've been 'overcooked' as well.

Jaime, if you like other brasiccas, you'll love sprouts.

Kelly-Jane and Jessica, thank you.

Kevin, as sprouts are pretty perfect just as they are in my book, simple recipes really work for me with sprouts.

Antonia, you won't know until you try. ;)

David, I've never had them with chestnuts. In fact I don't know if I've ever really eaten chestnuts. I think I might have tried the roasted at a Christmas market stall when I was little once. It's time I change that!

Kelly-Jane said...

I make Nigella's brussel sprouts with chestnuts, bacon and marsala from Feast - this one reminds me of it. Oh is it good! Looks yummy :)

Joie de vivre said...

Beautiful picture! I love brussel sprouts just steamed with some butter and salt, but my husband and little ones turn up their noses. However, since everyone loves bacon, this might be just the recipe to get them to change their minds! Thanks for the idea!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

They look very yummy. Also great shredded and sauteed/stir-fried...

Dicentra said...

Everything is better with bacon!

Anonymous said...

i must confess i'm not the biggest fan of sprouts, but this recipe may be the one thing that could win me over! sounds like a great christmas dish.

thanks for a great entry, like alwayas! :D

Hollow Legs said...

I absolutely love sprouts, but so many don't - I suppose it's from people cooking them far too long so that they start to smell like farts..!