Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 25 December 2010

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Brussels sprouts gratin with bacon, cream and almonds

“Dad, if we are coming to yours for Christmas Dinner, we must have ‘The Sprouts’.”

“Or we may not come!”

My dear daughter can be quite forceful at times.

Christmas dinner in recent years has been graced (inter alia) by ‘The Sprouts’ side dish, which everyone loves.  It’s a Sophie Grigson recipe for 8, but don’t bank on there being any left over even if you have fewer than that number for dinner.

It’s delicious.  The quantities shown below are pretty flexible – you may like to halve some of them, but leave the topping the same, to give it a bit more substance.

The picture shows a portion for two.

A small quantity of 'The Sprouts', for sharing between me and Sue


  • 900g/2lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 20g/¾oz butter
  • 4 tsp sunflower oil
  • 150g/5oz bacon lardons (or rindless back bacon, cut into short fat strips)
  • 20g/¾oz flaked almonds
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream
  • 2½ tsp lemon juice
  • 5½ tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. 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.

  3. Place the butter and oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and almonds and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned.

  4. Add the sprouts and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  5. Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for 2-4 minutes, until the cream has reduced to a rich sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.

  7. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture.

  8. Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the cream visibly boiling.

  9. Remove from the oven and serve in the gratin dish (when the dish has cooled slightly).


For a winter supper you can add mushrooms and/or left over veg at stage 4 to make a sort of Brussels sprouts pie, garnished with rocket leaves, or even a fried egg or two.