Brussels sprout gratin

Brussels sprout gratin

Serves 6

Sprouts are heaven. I even eat them cold, like stinky little gobstoppers, much to my wife’s delight. This gratin is different – crunchy and lovely. You can prepare stage one with the breadcrumbs on top and finish the baking when you’re ready to eat.

125g smoked bacon lardons
1 tbsp duck fat
750g Brussels sprouts, shredded
a pinch of caster sugar
250ml cream
3 tbsp water
150g fresh white breadcrumbs
80g Gruyère cheese (or similar), grated
50g butter, melted
zest of ½ orange
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Sauté the bacon in a little of the duck fat until golden. Transfer the bacon to a shallow casserole or baking dish along with the sprouts, the remaining duck fat, a pinch of sugar and a little salt. Pour the cream and water over the top and mix well. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the sprouts are just tender.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the Gruyère, melted butter, orange zest, sage and some salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the top of the sprouts. Return to the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes more, until crusty and golden. Serve hot.

From BUTTER BOY by Paul Flynn

Photo by Harry Weir

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