An ideal Christmas recipe because the butter can be made a day or two before so there’s less to do on Christmas day.
Serves 8 (depending on how much you like sprouts)
6 rashers streaky bacon (smoked or unsmoked), cut into pieces
200g cooked chestnuts or 100g vacuum-packed chestnuts, chopped
120g butter, at room temperature
Approx 1kg Brussels Sprouts, trimmed of outer leaves
1 Fry bacon in a hot pan without any oil for 10 mins until crisp.
2 Add chestnuts and fry until they begin to colour and are coated in the bacon fat.
3 Pour away excess fat, then tip bacon and chestnuts into a bowl to cool.
4 Beat the butter with a spatula, then stir in the bacon and chestnuts.
5 Season with black pepper, then store in fridge. This can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days but take it out and allow it to come to room temperature before you cook the sprouts.
6 Cook the sprouts in boiling water for 5 minutes.
7 Drain and return to the pan with the butter. Stir the butter through over a very low heat for a minute or so and tip into a warmed dish to serve.
How to cook fresh chestnuts.
If you’re buying your chestnuts fresh you’ll have to cook them first.
Using a small, sharp knife, cut a small cross into the skin of each nut. Put in a roasting tin and bake at 200c/gas 6 until the skins open and the insides are tender, about 20 minutes. Peel away the tough outer skin and the pithy white inner skin and use as required.