Sprout & Pancetta Gratin

As a lone boiled vegetable I’d be lying if I said I loved brussel sprouts. I find them pretty tasteless and bland, however when mixed with a few extra ingredients they somehow transform into a real favourite of mine. You may see this as masking the flavour, however I see it more as enhancing these little green balls into a festive dish that everyone will love and enjoy.

Despite not being the biggest fan of sprouts in their original form, I’ve always really enjoyed the combination of brussels and salty pancetta. And while I already have a similar combo elsewhere on my blog (here), I had to share this one with you too. This time I’ve gone not one, but two better, and thrown in some double cream and parmesan to make them extra indulgent for those upcoming Christmas celebrations.

Even if you hate sprouts I urge you to give this dish a try. I think it might just change your mind.

sprouts and pancetta baked in creamy gratin

Ingredients:

(Serves 4 as a side dish)

Olive oil
500g brussel sprouts, washed and trimmed
100g diced pancetta
2 baby leeks, roughly chopped
300ml double cream
50g unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly grated parmesan
Half a garlic clove
Salt and fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Heat oven to gas mark 6/200C or 180C for fan assisted ovens.
  2. Parboil the sprouts in salted water for around 5 minutes, drain and set to one side.
  3. Meanwhile, heat half of the butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat, and then fry the pancetta until crispy.
  4. Add in the sprouts and chopped leeks and turn down the heat. Saute for 10 minutes stirring often to make sure they don’t colour too much and then add in the other half of the butter and mix well.
  5. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Grate in some fresh nutmeg and season well.
  6. Drizzle a little olive oil into an ovenproof dish and then rub with half a garlic clove, to ensure oil has coated the dish, then carefully pour in the sprout mixture.
  7. Grate some fresh parmesan on top and then place into the centre of your preheated oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve with your favourite festive dinner!

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