Choucroute-style Brussels Sprouts

Words: Jess Spiro

Reliance Compost
Poor old Brussels sprouts, of all the veggies in the world, they really do have the worst rap. A mere mention of the word “sprouts” and most people visibly recoil and recall horror stories of being force-fed pallid, boiled-to-death sprouts at the hands of grandmothers. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret here, Brussels sprouts don’t have to taste like dirty dishwater or, excuse us, farts. In fact, they can be quite lovely when cooked properly, and taste very similar to cabbage, but with an overall nuttiness and freshness. When growing your own Brussels always bear in mind that they like fertile, well-drained, moist soils with plenty of organic matter.

The Brussels sprout is also very versatile, and can be stir-fried, blanched (NEVER boiled!), roasted, steamed or sauteéd and works well with most strong-flavoured ingredients, such as blue cheese, Parmesan, chillies, fish sauce and, as in this recipe, bacon! We’ve updated a classic French recipe which usually uses ham hock and cabbage. Instead, this recipe calls to render out bacon fat, cook the sprouts in that (with the addition of white wine and stock) and then serve with crispy bacon pieces. Make absolutely sure you don’t overcook the sprouts, as no amount of bacon can mask their sulphurous flavour!
Choucroute-style Brussels Sprouts

Serves: 4
Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

100 g bacon, preferably streaky or leg, cubed
olive oil
½ onion, very finely sliced
salt and pepper
50 ml white wine
½ C (125 ml) vegetable or chicken stock
300 g Brussels sprouts, halved
small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Place the bacon into a cold saucepan and place over a low heat. Leave for about 10 minutes until the fat has rendered out, then increase the heat slightly to crisp up the bacon cubes. Once crisp, remove the pieces from the pan. Lower the heat and add a little bit of olive oil to the bacon fat, then add the onion. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is completely soft.

Raise the heat again and add the white wine. Allow to reduce for a few minutes. Then add the stock you’re using and finally, the Brussels sprouts. Cook over a medium-high for about 10 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce and cook the sprouts but you still want them to retain their bright green colour, as well as a little crunch, so be careful not to overcook them.

When your sprouts are ready, add the bacon and the chopped parsley and stir once to combine. Turn out on onto a platter and serve immediately.

See more of our favourite seasonal winter veg recipes here!

Delicious produce is grown in healthy, living soil. #Harvesttotable series brought to you by Reliance Compost.

Reliance Compost

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