This is a goodie – humble ingredients, spuds and sprouts, tarted up with sage, garlic and nutmeg, bacon if you eat it, oh, and loads of butter. Awesome!
800g (about 4 large) agria potatoes, or a variety good for mashing
Butter (for purée, sprouts and dish)
½ cup full-fat milk, heated
350g (about 12 ounces) Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
2 rashers dry-cured bacon, roughly chopped (optional)
1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
12 sage leaves, chopped (optional)
1 Tbps panko crumbs
1-2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan or grano padano
1 Peel potatoes, cut into large chunks, transfer to a saucepan, cover with cold water, add salt, and bring to the boil. Lower heat and cook gently until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pan and set pan over a low heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until clinging water as evaporated. Either mash by hand with a potato masher or pass through a mouli-legumes. Add a tablespoon of butter and beat in enough hot milk to make a fluffy but not runny purée. Season generously with salt (if it tastes bland, add more salt).
2 Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels, then slice. If using bacon, heat a lightly oiled medium-sized frying pan (skillet) over medium heat and when hot, add bacon. Cook gently until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate. Reheat pan adding 1 tablespoon of butter. If not including bacon in the dish, heat the pan then add 1½ tablespoons of butter. Add sliced sprouts and cook, stirring often until lightly browned and starting to soften. Stir through garlic. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Add sage leaves and cook for a minute or two. It should taste delicious!
3 Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Lightly butter an ovenproof dish. Put in layers of vegetables, starting and finishing with potatoes. Sprinkle the top with panko crumbs and cheese, and dot with butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top and a little crusty around the edges. Serve hot.
Read about Brussels sprouts here