So, with exactly two weeks to go (if you are reading this on Friday) until the big day, it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
Yes, we’re talking about Brussels sprouts.
The most controversial part of any Christmas dinner. Whether you love them or you hate them, it’s not Christmas without the tiny green vegetable situated on the dining table, even though it’s only the adults that eat them.
But we’ll let you into a secret. Sprouts are awesome. Totally awesome. So awesome in fact that they shouldn’t just be thought as something you only have at Christmas, but every week, in fact every day would suit us.
Now, before you wonder if we are writing this after the SK Christmas party having had a few too many, you would be wrong, partly because there wasn’t one this year (damn you Covid-19!).
No, it’s because the much maligned sprout is much more versatile and tasty than you think. But it’s all in the cooking.
We had a laugh this week when one of these companies who produce taps that provide instant boiling water released a survey. You know, one of those ridiculous surveys that get you free advertising in the press because they are so outlandlish.
Anyway, the survey said that families will waste a total of six years waiting for Brussel Sprouts to boil this Christmas. This is based on the standard time it takes to boil a standard 20cm pan filled with two litres of water against the average number of households in Britain.
We won’t give said company any further oxygen of publicity, other than to utter six simple words.
Do. Not. Boil. Brussels. Sprouts. Ever.
You see, dear blog reader, this is where you have all been going wrong and why many people dislike sprouts. We put it down to the older generation boiling everything within an inch of its life so when you were kids, vegetables like sprouts and cauliflower became so hated, mainly because they had had all their flavour boiled away. You know when you have overcooked sprouts because you get the smell that children of the 70s and 80s are all too familiar with (Cookery improved from the 90s onwards).
We are not saying a little water shouldn’t be used. Blanching is fine (see below) but don’t boil your sprouts. They taste so much better when roasted, fried, grilled or sauteed, and they can be paired with so many other nice things, such as bacon, garlic, nuts and butter.
If you still don’t believe us, try the sprouts in the recipe below and we are confident that you will soon be looking at sprouts in a whole new light.
Charred flank steak with sprouts 2 ways
Sprout, potato and onion rosti:
- 200g diced onion
- 90g salted butter
- 550g grated Maris piper potatoes
- 250g mash potato
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 120g shredded raw sprout
- 100g extra mature cheddar cheese
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Freshly milled black pepper
Preheat your oven to 200oc. Start off by frying the onions and garlic in the butter till golden brown and cooked through then leave to cool slightly. Add all the other ingredients to a kitchen mixer and mix together followed by the onions and season with salt and pepper and mix again.
To cook put a heavy based frying pan on a medium to high heat add all the ingredients and pat down to the edges and flatten. Leave on the heat for 3-4 minute to get a nice golden brown bottom. Then transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Glazed sprouts in marmite butter:
- 500g prepared sprouts halved and blanched
- 75g salted butter
- 50g honey
- 30g red wine vinegar
- 50g marmite
- 30g olive oil
Place a chargrill pan on a medium to high heat and allow to get hot. Toss the sprouts in the olive oil and chargrill to they get charred lines and caramelised edges, this will give the sprouts a lovely nutty flavour.
In a separate pan heat together the butter, marmite, honey and red wine vinegar and cook down till thickened then mix in the sprouts and glaze.
Charred flank steak
- 500g flank steak
- Olive oil
Take out the steak an hour before cooking and allow to come to room temperature but don’t season till just before cooking.
Put a chargrill pan on a high heat and allow to get hot. Drizzle the olive oil over the steak and season well with the salt and pepper. Then place the steak in the pan allowing to fall away from as so not to burn yourself and cook each side for 4-5 minutes, take out the pan and allow to rest for as long as you cooked it for. Slice thinly, season and serve.
Two ways to let sprouts be the star of the show.