Gratin of Brussels sprouts with lardons, cream and almonds This can be prepared well in advance and just needs to be shoved into the oven for 20-25 minutes before being served. It is traditionally a luscious accompaniment for traditional turkey, but can also be prepared as a supper dish, accompanied by sauté potatoes and a lettuce and tomato salad with a lemony dressing.
These ingredients will serve about 4 people
450 gm Brussels sprouts, trimmed
50 gm Butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 thick bacon rashers (hand cut from the butcher) chopped into lardons
250 gm chestnut mushrooms, quartered (optional)
1 tbsp flaked almonds
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
250 ml double cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
A handful of fresh white breadcrumbs
2-3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
Use a medium ovenproof baking dish.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C
1 Place the sprouts into a saucepan of simmering salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half.
2 Meanwhile, place half the butter and the oil into a wide frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons, garlic and almonds and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned.
3 Add the mushrooms and sprouts and more butter/oil as needed, and sauté for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
4 Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil for a few minutes, until the cream has reduced to a rich sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5 Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and spoon into the ovenproof gratin/baking dish.
6 Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture. Drizzle with olive oil.
7 Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the cream is visibly boiling.
5 Remove from the oven and serve in the gratin dish when it has cooled slightly.
Cook now, eat later
TO PREPARE AND COOK AHEAD
Prepare in advance, cover with clingfilm, and refrigerate. Allow an extra 5-10 minutes or so cooking time.
If cooking this as an accompaniment to a poultry dinner, the mushrooms are very much optional, but if cooking it as a supper dish, various additional ingredients may enhance enjoyment, and chicken can be used to make a change from lardons.