Brussel Sprouts

I hated brussel sprouts. Well, hate might be a bit over the top, but I didn’t eat them for about 60 years after the age of 6. I lived with my Pakeha grandparents for just over a year when I first started school. We didn’t have a school where we lived.

My grandmother was English, brought home after WW1. Her cooking was standard working class English; meat and two veg. And they didn’t have electricity or refrigeration of course in those days. So we ate fresh caught fish, fresh meat occasionally, and a lot of corned beef or corned mutton, mostly corned beef. Didn’t need refrigeration to keep corned meat. We had a big vegetable garden and I don’t know why but it seemed to me to be mostly brussel sprouts, and cabbages.

Anyway we ate a lot of corned beef and brussel sprouts, and corned beef and cabbage, boiled.

I was chatting with my last surviving aunt a few months ago, over lunch, and mentioned that I hadn’t touched brussel sprouts from the age of 6 to a few years ago. At the time she, being the youngest, was still at home. She told me she hadn’t ever eaten corned beef since she left home.

A few years ago I was idly watching the Graham Norton Show on the TV. Gwyneth Paltrow was a guest. She’s a bit wierd but also a bit of a foodie. For some wierd reason she started talking about brussel sprouts, and how she cooks them. I thought to myself, “Maybe they’ll taste OK cooked like that”. So I tried it, and I’ve been cooking and eating them regularly ever since. Healthy kai.

Cut the base off the sprouts and cut a cross into the base.
Steam them until they’re half cooked.
Saute them in olive oil in a frying pan.
When they’re nearly done, add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar, or caramelised balsamic vinegar if you have it.
Continue cooking until the vinegar has reduced to almost nothing.