This recipe for Roasted Bacon & Chestnut Sprouts is my favourite way to eat Brussels sprouts. My friend Sue always says that brussels sprouts are mutant cabbages, and I think that probably represents the level of dislike that people have for the poor Brussels sprout. On the other hand, my friend Dawn absolutely loves them. I’m a bit tired of recipes that claim that THIS recipe will convert sprout haters. Ultimately, if you hate them, you hate them. However, if you’re on the fence, you might like them roasted. I think they taste much better, but really, they are still Brussels sprouts. I just can’t do a Christmas Menu without them.
This recipe pleases me aesthetically as well as from a culinary point of view. The pink and green looks really pretty. The chestnuts here are optional, they can be hard to get and the sprouts taste good without them. They just add another festive layer and play up the nuttiness that the roasting brings out of the sprouts. A bit of scorching and singing on the Brussels sprouts is desirable. It looks like I’m obsessed with burning this dinner given my choice of a burnt lemon and feta dip, but here the scorching makes the sprouts a bit sweeter.
This Christmas menu does rely a lot on the oven, because I find that easier. Maybe that’s the baker in me! These sprouts will go into the oven as soon as the turkey comes out to rest. I don’t think blanching the sprouts makes much difference, but feel free to do that if you’re a household that likes your veg very very well cooked. I’m not judging you if you do, it’s important to eat food the way you like them!
This recipe easily doubles and it works well for a crowd.
1 net of sprouts (I’m assuming that’s how everyone buys them)
1 teaspoon of mildly flavoured oil such as rapeseed
10 – 15 vacuum packed chestnuts
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Prepare your sprouts by pulling off any discoloured leaves. I like to cut the bigger ones in half so that they all cook at the same rate. You only need to do this if the sprouts are different sizes.
Chop the bacon into small pieces and toss them with the Brussels sprouts (and chestnuts if you’re using) in the teaspoon of oil. The oil just helps things get started until the bacon starts to release it’s fat.
Pop it in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes depending on the size of the sprouts and how scorched you want them. Give them a bit of a shake halfway through.
Serve and enjoy!