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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

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.

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