By Martin Kirrane
This started out as a Christmas dinner accompaniment but now I cook it all the time. It's great on its own as a quick snack and just fantastic as a side dish with a Gloucester Old Spot chop or chicken breast. It's also pretty healthy, low in fat and carbs (if you're into that).
You will need:
350-400g Brussel Sprouts
Half a pint of chicken stock
120-200g Pancetta lardons
Salt & pepper to season
First, if you want to use pancetta, throw that into a non-stick pan first. If you don't like pancetta or you want to reduce the fat content this dish works fine without it, but I think it works better, so I use about 150-200g of lardons.
As they start to brown on a medium-low heat we need to shred the sprouts. I use my food processor for these and the shallots, it just makes it quicker, but you can slice them by hand just the same. Empty them into a colander and run under cold water to clean. Peel and slice the shallots and add them to the pan, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
Add the shredded sprouts and about half of the chicken stock, bringing up to simmer. after about 10 minutes the sprouts will be softening up so you can taste and add a little salt or pepper to your own taste. I also add a little more chicken stock if it needs it. I like to have it just a little runny, not swimming in stock, and the sprouts tend to absorb any excess. give it 5 more minutes and taste test it. The sprouts should be soft and you should have that lovely sweet flavour from the shallots and the pancetta.
As I said, it's a great low carb side dish or on its own. You can also add leeks and mushrooms to it if you have them to make it even more flavoursome, have fun with it!