It's that time of the year, not even December yet and I'm noticing that my 'Perfect Christmas Turkey in the Weber' article is starting to receive visits. Forward planning, I like it.
It's a traditional Sunday roast tonight at the firefoodie household so I visited my favourite farm shop on the way home from Luca's rugby match. Foxbury Farm, near Burford in Oxfordshire, one of the best local farm shops around here. We had already decided on pork so I chose a portion of boned shoulder and had the butcher score the skin nicely so we would have loads of delicious crackling. The fresh produce section had some lovely locally grown brussels sprouts, our first dose of brussels for the year. It was here that I also found some great local streaky bacon.
This recipe is a variation on a Delia Smith Christmas recipe and can be made with any sweet white wine, smoked or unsmoked bacon and good fresh sprouts. A white marsala wine is sweet enough to not need the honey, but I only had a dry white so I tried a small amount of honey to give a nice glaze and add that extra bit of sugar.
The pork shoulder, of course, was cooked in the Weber (keeps the hot smoky bit out of the kitchen) and the rest of the meal was cooked indoors. In addition to the sprouts, I served mixed roasted root vegetable (potatoes, swede and parsnip), and steamed carrots. I also made a simple stuffing (cooked separately) with fresh sage, more bacon, minced onion and fresh breadcrumbs.
- 600g brussels sprouts, trimmed and washed
- 200g streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 25g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small glass of white wine
- 1 dessert spoon of clear honey
- Salt and pepper
Steam the sprouts until they are about half cooked, that is still firm when tested with a fork. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a pan in melted butter and olive oil until the bacon is nice and crispy. Don't worry about all those bits that stick, the wine will sort it out when it deglazes the pan. Add the par cooked sprouts and then add the wine in small splashes so the sprouts aren't drowned in it. Keep the heat high and as the liquid evaporates, add more, a little at a time. Put a lid on for a few minutes to steam them a bit more and then add the honey and toss them about before serving.
I will remember this night by the broken handle on my Weber. It was a bit tricky getting the lid off and on, but then I've had it for over ten years. Not impossible, just tricky. I'm not going to get rid of it, I am going to fix the handle. I am going to fix the handle...