Brussels sprouts are like Marmite, you either love them or loathe them. However it appears in the UK we love them more than any of our European neighbours. Perhaps that’s because we realise they are packed full of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fibre. Obviously over cooking them produces a foul smelling vegetable but if you stick to boiling until just tender, sautéing, grilling or dry frying them then the results are delicious. I quite often have a salmon fillet with a side of thinly sliced, dry fried Brussels sprouts for a healthy supper. The sweet nuttiness of the sprout really shines through when cooked this way.
This Pancetta and Brussels Sprout Gratin is enhanced by the Comté cheese and Dijon mustard and is a great side dish to have for large gatherings as it can be made ahead. One other tip, I never bother cutting a cross in the bottom of each Brussels sprout. Quite unnecessary in my view – I have a life to live!
Pancetta and Brussels Sprout Gratin
- 200g pancetta, diced 1cm cubes
- 1kg Brussels sprouts
- 300ml double cream
- Comte cheese 100g, grated
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- 75g white breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp Parmesan, grated
- freshly ground pepper
- Step 1 Pre heat oven to 220’C/200’C fan.
- Step 2 Cook the sprouts in salted, boiling water until tender.
- Step 3 Drain and refresh in cold water.
- Step 4 Fry the pancetta in a pan with a little oil until golden.
- Step 5 Add the double cream, Dijon mustard and cheese to the pan and remove from the heat.
- Step 6 Add the Brussels sprouts and salt to the pancetta sauce in the pan and mix well.
- Step 7 Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.
- Step 8 This will keep overnight if sealed with cling film and chilled.
- Step 9 When ready bake for 15-20 minutes at 220’C/200’C fan until golden and bubbling.