Irish Examiner Saturday - Irish Examiner - Weekend
Sprouts, Chestnuts & Bacon
This is of course the classic Brussel sprouts Christmas side dish, where the salty smokey bacon and nutty woody chestnuts form the ultimate union with the sprouts making a simple trio of good things brought together on a sizzling hot pan.
We, being sprout fanatics of course, love this dish and often have it on our table, not just on Christmas Day, but all throughout sprout season or early winter as some people call it.
1 kg of Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
200g cooked chestnuts
400g of good-quality smoked bacon rashers or pancetta cut into lardons
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
Pomegranate seeds ( from half a pomegranate) Olive oil 50g butter
Parboil the sprouts in a large pan of salted boiling water for around six minutes. Drain into a colander and leave aside. The sprouts should be a little over halfway cooked.
In a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil and add the bacon, cooking it until starting to crisp up. Add the sprouts and chestnuts along with the butter and move around the pan for around 10 to 15 minutes, giving the sprouts enough time to soften a little and crisp up on the cut sides.
You want everything looking browned a little and crisp. Add a splash of water if you need to avoid too much of the chestnuts sticking or if the sprouts need a little steam to cook through further.
Add the molasses at the end, stirring it around the pan, coating all of the sprouts well. Tip onto a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.