As we approach Christmas I am reviewing my processes and recipes for Christmas dinner.
This dish is very simple to cook, has festive overtones and really adds something special to the humble sprout.
Peel and halve the sprouts, now I know some people will think that what is he doing, sprouts are supposed to be whole! Well what I want in this dish is for the sprouts to be a similar size to the chestnuts.
The sprouts are then partially cooked in advance, by placing in simmering water for about five minutes, drained and plunged into cold water and left to one side. You can do this earlier in the day so freeing up hob space for other things.
When you are close to serving time, in a hot frying plan, add a splash of olive oil and add the pancetta. I go for smoked pancetta, as I much prefer the stronger flavour and it goes well with the similarly strong flavour of the sprouts.
Cook the pancetta until is just going crispy. Then add the partially cooked sprouts and the chestnuts. I use the cooked and vacuum packed chestnuts from Merchant Gourmet. These are already prepared and cooked and are quick and easy to use.
You can season with some black pepper, but no need to add extra salt, as the pancetta bacon adds the saltiness to the dish.
Toss and sauté the sprouts and chestnuts with the pancetta and serve with your favourite festive roast.