There are numerous Brussels sprouts recipes that have pork as an ingredient in some form. And that's easy to explain: sprouts partner exceptionally well with bacon, pork belly, ham, sausages or pork chops.
After all, pork is really winter comfort food whether as boiled bacon, baked ham or sausages and mash - pork seems to come into its own when its cold and miserable outside. Just like sprouts, of course.
For this recipe, you want small sprouts - about the size of marbles,
and tightly closed. If yours are larger, just cut them in half - but if you can find little ones, go for those. I find they taste much sweeter and will be much more palatable if you're just learning to like sprouts.
Since the bacon adds the main flavour to this dish, you want to pick a really tasty one - and make sure you cook it until it's really nice and crisp.
For four as a side dish you'll want about 500g of sprouts. If you love sprouts or if you're feeding a crowd, just add a few more.
As Brussels sprouts recipes go, sprouts and bacon is very straighforward. Heat a pan and cook the bacon until the fat runs and the bacon pieces are nice and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and keep to one side.
Tip the peeled sprouts into the bacon fat and toss them around until they're bright green and glistening.
Next, turn the heat down a little and sprinkle in the stock powder. Stir until the sprouts are well coated, then add the splash of water or white wine. Stand well away when you do this, it spits!
Turn the heat down a little more and clap a lid on the pan, leaving the sprouts to steam in the liquid. Don't walk away from the stove - you don't want burnt and sticking sprouts.
Keep shaking the pan and add a splash (no more!) of water or white wine if the pan dries before the sprouts are cooked. Remember, you want them bright green and with bite - not mushy - so take them off the heat long before you'd usually do.
When the sprouts are ready add the bacon back into the pan and turn gently to mix with the sprouts.
Check the seasoning and serve.
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