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Pancetta with Brussels Sprouts

Posted on December 13, 2016

For many people, a Christmas dinner isn’t complete without the humble Brussels sprout. While not to everyone’s taste, this small, seasonal, leafy green has become a mainstay of the traditional festive platter.

Often, they can be boiled to the point of breaking down into a grey-green, flavourless mush, but with just a little care and attention, you can transform your sprouts into the centrepiece of your turkey dinner.

Here’s how.

Blanch 1kg of peeled and trimmed sprouts in a pan of boiling, salted water, for around three minutes. Drain and tip into a bowl of iced water until cool, before draining again and setting aside.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan until its smoking hot and fast-fry about 200g of pancetta, chopped into small cubes.

Once crisp, toss in the sprouts and coat with the cooking fat until crisp and throw in two or three finely chopped fresh sage leaves.

Then simply season to taste and serve.

There are a couple of further twists that could add even more sparkle to this recipe… a generous grating of fresh parmesan, or the zest of a clementine, will give it an extra zip.

Seems simple, right?

But, as always, for the best results, you need to use the best ingredients – that includes the freshest sprouts you can buy and the best pancetta you can get your hands on.

This cured Italian meat, made from salted and spiced pork belly, is stocked by most supermarkets and good delis these days.

Or you could always turn your hand to making your own, which might be easier than you think, as this video from our artisan butchery tutor, Chris Moorby, shows:


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