SIDE DISHES

Easy Cook - - SEASONAL NEW YEAR -

Sticky liquorice car­rots

Serves 6 Prep 10 mins Cook 30 mins 99p a por­tion 117 kcals, 8g fat, 5g sat. fat, 9g sugar

50g soft black liquorice 50g salted but­ter 800g car­rots, cut into ba­tons

1 Finely chop the liquorice and put in a small pan with about 5cm wa­ter. Boil for 30 mins, top­ping up with wa­ter to keep the liquorice cov­ered at all times, mash­ing and stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til nearly all the lumps of liquorice have dis­ap­peared and you’re left with black, syrupy wa­ter. Sieve into a new pan, add the but­ter, and gen­tly bub­ble un­til you have a con­sis­tency be­tween clear honey and gravy.

2 Boil a saucepan of wa­ter. Add the car­rots and cook for 2 mins un­til ten­der. Drain, then tip back into their pan and add the liquorice syrup. Toss to coat. Sea­son. Tip into a dish.

TIP If you’re short of hob space, you can make the liquorice syrup ahead of time and re­heat in a mi­crowave to melt.

Green beans with whole­grain mus­tard

Bring a large pan of wa­ter to the boil, then drop in 500g trimmed French green beans and cook for 4-5 mins un­til they are just cooked but still bright green and with a slight crunch. While the beans are cook­ing, heat the but­ter in a large shal­low pan and soften1 finely chopped shal­lot. Add 1 tbsp whole­grain mus­tard and 3 tbsp crème fraîche, and bring to a sim­mer to com­bine. Add the drained beans and the juice of 1 lemon, stir un­til evenly coated. Serves 6.

Roasted sprout gratin with ba­con-cheese sauce

Serves 6 Prep 15 mins Cook 40 mins £1.22 a por­tion 339 kcals, 18g fat, 9g sat. fat, 8g sugar

800g Brus­sels sprouts

1 tbsp sun­flower oil 85g ba­con lar­dons 85g fresh bread­crumbs 25g but­ter 400ml milk

500g plain flour 2 tsp English mus­tard pow­der 100g Gruyère, grated 25g Parme­san, grated

1 Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Halve any large sprouts and toss them with the oil and some sea­son­ing in a roast­ing tin or oven­proof dish. Roast for 20 mins un­til the sprouts are ten­der and turn­ing golden.

2 Mean­while, put the ba­con lar­dons in a cold fry­ing pan and place over a medium-low heat. Gen­tly fry the lar­dons so the fat melts out into the pan as they crisp. When golden brown and crisp, re­move from the pan with a slot­ted spoon. Add the bread­crumbs and crisp up in the ba­con fat un­til golden and crunchy. Re­move from the pan, then clean the pan.

3 Melt the but­ter in the pan with 2 tbsp of 2 mins to make a paste. Grad­u­ally whisk in re­main­ing milk, un­til you have a smooth sauce. Stir and cook un­til the sauce comes to the boil and thick­ens. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese un­til melted. Taste and sea­son.

4 Tip the sprouts into a bak­ing dish, scat­ter with the crisp ba­con lar­dons, then spoon over the sauce and scat­ter with the crispy crumbs. Can be cooled, cov­ered and chilled for up to 48 hrs be­fore bak­ing. Bake gratin for 10 mins (or 20 mins from chilled) at 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 un­til pip­ing hot and bub­bling.

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