If you are not a fan of Brussels sprouts try using thickly sliced leeks with broccoli or cauliflower instead. This will also make a good vegetarian option for Christmas lunch if you leave out the bacon.


675 g (1 1/2 oz) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
knob of butter
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cooked slices smoked bacon, diced
200 ml (7 floz) cream
50 ml (2 floz) milk
good pinch freshly grated nutmeg
50 g (2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
25 g (1 oz) walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Half fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and simmer for 4-5 minutes until just tender but not soggy. Drain and refresh under running cold water.

Butter a baking dish and tip in the blanched Brussels sprout. Scatter over the red onion and bacon. Mix the cream with the milk and nutmeg in a jug and season to taste, then pour over the sprouts. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and place in oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.

To serve, place piping hot directly on the table and allow guests to help themselves.