Okay, I’ll plant my flag and let you all take pot shots at me: winter would be wasted without Brussels sprouts!
Many people would disagree, but I love the little green cabbage balls. I probably started liking Brussels sprouts just because everybody else did not and I was in my most contrary phase. But over the years this tentative like has grown into a true love affair and the moment the first frost makes everyone scrape their windscreen before heading to work I’m ready to grab me some sprouts.
I can eat them all winter long… but only then. Frozen or imported Brussels sprouts I can live without. Sprouts belong with cold weather and hearty dishes. They partner with bacon, mustard, chilli, almonds, cheese, chestnuts and – best of all – mashed potatoes.
People who don’t like them complain that they’re impossible to cook. Green bullets one moment and slush the next.
To that I say: don’t boil them!
Keep your sprouts well away from water and they’ll reward you.
Not convinced? Follow me. This is one of my favourite Brussels sprouts recipes, and it’s dead simple.
- Pick small sprouts and peel off the outer leaves
- Heat some oil or bacon grease in a saucepan until hot
- Tip in your sprouts and toss them around on medium heat until they’re bright green
- Then add a teaspoon or two of Marigold Swiss Bouillon Powder (or whatever your favourite is) to the sprouts. Don’t turn your noses up, this works!
- When the sprouts are coated, add the juice of one lemon. If your lemon is not very juicy, or you’re cooking a lot of sprouts, use two. And be careful, lemon juice + hot fat = this will spit.
- Lower the heat and take a peek at your sprouts. If there’s some liquid at the bottom of the pan, that’s fine. If there’s not add a couple of tablespoons of white wine (or water if you really have to!). Just enough so the sprouts don’t stick to the pan while they cook.
- Then clap on the lid and steam them for a few minutes. How many minutes depends on the size of your sprouts, but even big ones won’t take long.
And that’s all there is to it. These are good with roast potatoes on Christmas day, or with mash and sausages or pork chops at any other time.