Two shopping days are left before Christmas. This could be, I hope, the first year I’m not in the shops still buying presents on the 24 December. I have a bit more wrapping up to do, but I think I’m nearly there. The Christmas tree is twinkling. JP and I have made paper chains to hang about the house and it’s all looking festive. The food for Christmas Day is mainly sorted but that’s because Mum is doing 80% of it.
We are going to be at home on Christmas morning itself. JP will open his first ever stocking and then we have a lovely neighbour downstairs we will call on. Then off to Mum and Dad’s. Dad is hoping for a sandwich toaster as a Christmas present and he’s keen to use it for our lunch! Christmas toasties. My aunt arrives later in the day and we’ll have our Christmas meal with her.
We’ll start with smoked salmon on buttered bread with a squeeze of lemon juice, all accompanied with bubbles. For the main event we will be tucking into turkey and ham, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, sausages, prunes wrapped in bacon, bread sauce and cranberry sauce and brussel sprouts. There will also be an amazing gravy.
Traditional boiled brussel sprouts aren’t my favourite Christmas meal vegetable. My Dad loves them and will happily eat ten or more whilst I will suffer no more than three. But roast a brussel and to my taste they are transformed. They now become something truly delicious and I will enjoy eating many more than my normal three. This recipe combines roasted brussels with roasted beetroot which is super sweet. Before roasting the vegetables I pour over a mixture of oil, honey and chilli flakes. This dish gives an added kick to the Festive meal, while sticking with the tradition of brussel sprouts at Christmas.
Roasted brussel sprouts with beetroot, chilli and honey
500g raw beetroot, peeled and chopped into large chunks
500g brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half if large
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp runny honey
1/8 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
½ – 1 tsp chilli flakes, depending on taste
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 40 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/395°F/Gas mark 6. Put the beetroot into a large roasting tin. Mix together the oil, honey, salt and pepper and chilli flakes in a small bowl. Pour half of this mixture over the beetroot and mix well (I use my fingers). Put in the oven for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, pour the remaining oil mixture onto the brussels in another bowl and mix well. Then combine the sprouts in the roasting tin with the now half-roasted beetroot and return to the oven for a further 15 – 20 minutes. The exact timing will depend on the size of the sprouts. Then serve with the rest of your Christmas meal.
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