Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

Crispy bacon with charred sprouts with a delicious hint of garlic, this is not a boring side dish.

Sprouts have quite a bad reputation here and a lot of people don’t seem to like them. Like a lot of people in Britain, I used to only eat brussel sprouts at Christmas when they were put on my plate so I had to eat them. When we have them at Christmas, they are usually just boiled so they aren’t the most exciting vegetable. I have never disliked them as much as other people, like my sister, but they weren’t something I particularly looked forward to. 

I decided to come up with a brussel recipe a couple of months ago. It came about when I decided to try out a low carb diet to help me drop a few more pounds before my wedding. I didn’t want to cut out carbs altogether, but dramatically reduce them. This meant I was eating a lot more veg – I mean a lot more. I became slightly obsessed with tenderstem broccoli; I can’t get enough of it! But I couldn’t just eat broccoli, so I decided to come up with a sprouts recipe. I’d heard of combining bacon with sprouts before so thought I would give it a go. The recipe turned out great and I now have it at least once a week; Mr Curly now even asks if he can have some when he wouldn’t go near brussels before!

Like I said, I make this recipe at least once a week. The flavours are just so delicious that I now find myself looking forward to eating sprouts. I also eat quite a lot of these, as the recipe below could feed four quite easily, but I usually make this amount just for Mr Curly and I. 

I also make more than we are going to eat so I can have leftovers the next day. The first time I took the leftover sprouts into work was quite amusing – to say the office weren’t very pleased with the smell was an understatement! They moaned that all they could smell was sprouts and broccoli. They’re now used to me bringing them in so I get far less complaints!

I quite like to cook my sprouts until they are quite charred and crispy, but cook yours as you like them. These are delicious as part of a roast dinner, I just reduce the garlic slightly so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the meal. 

I have also made this recipe by shredding the sprouts and adding them straight to the frying pan after you have crisped the bacon. This cuts out the step pf boiling the sprouts which is great if you are trying to reduce the pans you use or are short of space on the hob. The only downside is that the shredded sprouts break up rather than when you cut them in half they keep their shape which is easier when it comes to eating them. Plus shredding sprouts takes a lot longer than just cutting them in half!

Serves 2-4

500g brussel sprouts
200g bacon lardons
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt 
1 tsp table salt for boiling the sprouts

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

  1. Trim the sprouts and get rid of any outside leaves that don’t look great. Cut each sprout in half and cook in salted boiling water for around 10 minutes so the sprouts are just cooked but not soft. Drain the sprouts and set aside

  1. Cook the bacon in a frying pan on a high heat until crisp

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  1. Add the sprouts to the bacon along with the oil and stir occasionally
  2. Once the sprouts have started to get crisp, turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic and allow to cook for a five or so more minutes

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