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Brussels Sprouts in Riesling with Bacon

In Alsace cabbage is often braised in Riesling, a wine that also has an affinity with Brussels sprouts. If you can get tiny button sprouts for this so much the better, but in any event they should be tight and firm and not too large.


This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.


Cut the rinds off the bacon rashers and, in your very largest frying pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat. Keeping the heat to a minimum, add the bacon rinds to the pan and let them gently cook and release their fat, which will permeate the butter. Meanwhile snip the bacon rashers into small pieces, then add them to the pan along with the shallots and garlic to begin cooking.

While that's happening, place the sprouts in a steamer, sprinkle them with salt, and steam them over boiling water for 4 minutes or so which should be enough just to half-cook them. After that turn the heat up under the frying pan, add the sprouts and toss them around for 2 or 3 minutes or until they begin to take on a little colour.

Now turn the heat up high, pour in the wine and let it bubble and reduce while you constantly turn the sprouts over and over to soak up the flavour of the wine. As soon as the sprouts are tender and the wine has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, transfer them to a serving dish, add a little freshly milled pepper and serve straightaway.


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