Sprouts and Bacon Gratin

Tuesday 8 November 2016

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Brussels Sprouts are not something I ever remember eating when I was growing up.  They just were not a vegetable that was readily available back then I guess. We basically only had peas and carrots and green beans and sometimes corn.  I can remember discovering sprouts as an adult and falling completely and totally in love with them, and with cauliflower and broccoli too.  I am a real brassica lover!

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I got a bargain on a huge bag of sprouts the other day and have been using them up in whatever way I can before they go off.  Today  I thought I would make a sort of gratin with them.  

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I did a search on line to see if I could find any suggestions and found what looked a lovely recipe on the BBC food web page by Sophie Grigson.  I like Sophie's recipes and so I thought I would use it as a basis for what I wanted to do myself . . .     

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So I loosely followed it,  cutting the amounts in half and then using pancetta lardons and more bread crumbs on top and grating the cheese coarser.  I also changed the way I put things together and added a bit of butter to the bread crumbs, because I thought it would make them extra tasty . . . and it did.  

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 In any case, all changes aside, this was absolutely gorgeous! It made a fabulous side dish and in all truth I could have quite happily dined on it alone and nothing else!  Yes, I do love my sprouts!  And when you mix them with bacon, cream and cheese, I love them even more!  

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*A Gratin of Sprouts & Bacon*
Serves 4 

This is a recipe of Sophie Grigson's I adapted from the BBC Food webpage.  It's delicious.  

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 TBS butter
2 tsp sunflower oil
75g of pancetta lardons (about 1/2 cup)
a handful of flaked almonds
200ml of double cream (7 fluid ounces)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 TBS fresh soft bread crumbs
2 further tsp melted butter
3 TBS coarsely grated Parmesan Cheese
fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste    

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Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.   Add the sprouts and cook for about 4 minutes until crispy tender.  Drain well and set aside.  

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet.   Add the pancetta lardons and cook until they are beginning to turn golden brown.   Toss in the almonds and allow them to brown lightly.   Cut the sprouts in half and add them to the pan and cook them for a few minutes longer.  Butter a large shallow casserole dish and dump the sprout mixture in.  Season to taste with some salt and pepper.  Whisk together the cream and lemon juice and pour this over top of the sprouts.  

Melt the 2 tsp butter in the skillet and add the bread crumbs.  Toss to coat and cook for a few mintues until they begin to crisp up a bit.  Remove from the heat and mix together with the Parmesan Cheese.  Sprinkle this mixture eveny over top of the sprouts in the gratin dish.    

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.   Once it is heated place the gratin dish inside and roast the sprouts for 15 to 18 minutes until the cream is all bubbling up and the crumbs are golden brown.   Serve hot.

Note - As with most things these are even tastier the day after and reheated!

This would make an excellent side dish for the holidays!  Bon Appetit!


  1. I am a sprouts girl and who isn't a bacon person if you are not a vegetarian..I started making brussel sprouts in the micro when not rosating..you just rinsed..put in a microwave dish w/ cover..no water..the rinsing is the water.4 minutes..no water..perfect..I cut mine in half as we have been buying on the stalk and they are huge.

    1. Oh, I love them fresh off the stalk. Have you ever had Sprout tops? They are the best! I will try your way of doing them in the Microwave! xo

  2. This sounds so delicious. We are both huge lovers of brussel sprouts and always looking for new ways to serve them.

    1. Oh, you will love this Marie! I was thinking afterwards, a dash of horseradish would also be nice in it! xo

  3. Hi Marie! I disliked brussel sprouts intensely as a child, we had them boiled to mush ... but I have rediscovered them and learned to enjoy them. This recipe is going to be added to our Christmas menu, my spidey-senses tell me it's fabulous. :) Thank you!
    Hope you are keeping well! I've not been baking as much, trying out the Ketogenic lifestyle! I wondered if you have a palatable substitute baking sugar you would recommend that does not taste dreadful/crunchy and that is a healthy alternative? Heartfelt thanks for your daily recipes and posts that make each day brighter.

    1. First of all Merrypetal I have found a couple of articles for you on sugars:



      Honey seems to be a popular alternative as does agave syrup.

      I gave up trying to find suitable substitutes and just don't eat that much in the way of baked goods now. I still bake, but my friends and neighbors are the lucky recipients! I ever had a sprout the whole time I was growing up but I strongly suspect if I had done it would have bee boiled to death. I love then al dente with a bit of a bite. they are just gorgeous! You will love this dish I am sure! xo

  4. Thank you Marie, these links were very informative and helpful. The Stevia or Xylitol options are what I'm going to try first. I have a new appreciation of your struggle with avoiding baked treats, I will try an almond flour cake and Xylitol as my as my first experiment. Onward and upward! Hearfelt thanks!

    1. You're welcome Merry. Let me know how you get on! xo


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