Brussels sprouts have long been known as one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It’s no secret that they’re also incredibly delicious when cooked just right. One way to do this is to make these super tasty Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts.
Brussels sprouts can taste great. No, really!
Forget the bad rap these delicious balls of nutrient-packed goodness have had in the past. Take it from me, sprouts are great. You may have hated sprouts in school dinners. Or perhaps your gran used to boil the poor things to oblivion, until nothing remained but a pale green slop. Well, I’m here to tell you that – when cooked well – Brussels sprouts are the business.
One way to prepare Brussels sprouts well is with bacon lardons and chestnuts. The end result is a savoury and hearty side dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
When cooked well, Brussels sprouts are tender and flavourful, with a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Adding bacon and chestnuts to the mix brings in a rich smokiness and earthy flavour that complements the sprouts perfectly. The result is a dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated, with a depth of flavour that’s sure to impress even the most discerning of palates.
But it’s not just the taste of Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts that makes it such a popular dish. It’s also the fact that sprouts are incredibly healthy. Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as fibre. Bacon and chestnuts, while higher in fat add protein to the dish, making this a well-rounded and nutritious accompaniment.
How to cook Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts
One of the great things about Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts is that it can be prepared in a variety of ways. In this recipe I lightly boil the sprouts, but that’s not the only way of doing it. Roasting the sprouts will bring out their natural sweetness and gives them a crispy exterior. Alternatively, sautéing them in a pan creates a tender and caramelized texture. Adding the bacon and chestnuts at the end can add a satisfying crunch and depth of flavour.
In this recipe, I use ready cooked and peeled chestnuts for ease and simplicity. Fry the bacon lardons in butter, add shallots, then add the cooked sprouts, with a little lemon juice for extra zing.
This side dish is a Christmas classic, but you can enjoy it whenever sprouts are in season. Why not serve it alongside this delicious, succulent roast chicken.
Whether you’re looking for a comforting side dish for a holiday meal or a hearty side dish for a cosy weeknight dinner, Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts is a recipe that’s sure to please. So the next time you’re in the mood for something delicious and healthy, give this classic dish a try and see why it’s been a favourite for generations.
Still not convinced Brussels sprouts are for you? Maybe Jamie Oliver can inspire you! Take a look at his six best sprout recipes, here.
Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts
- 200 g sprouts
- 200 g bacon lardons smoked or un-smoked; or pancetta
- 100 g chestnuts cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 25 g butter unsalted
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- black pepper
- prepare your sprouts by removing any loose outer leaves and washing them
- bring a saucepan of lightly-salted water to the boil, and boil the sprouts for about 3 – 4 minutes. You want them to be cooked, but firm and a little al dente – soggy or mushy sprouts belong in the history books! Drain and set them aside
- heat a saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter
- once the butter is foaming, add the bacon lardons or pancetta and cook for around 2 -3 minutes until brown and beginning to turn crispy
- add the shallots and cook for a further 2 minutes
- add the sprouts, chestnuts and lemon juice and season with ground black pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes and then serve