Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Brussels sprouts festival

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Serves two:


  • 200 g lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • pepper and salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 200 g unpeeled small potatoes
  • 300 g cleaned Brussels sprouts
  • 100 g cranberries
  • liquid honey

Is your birthday party getting a bit boring? Throw a sprout into the group. Literally or figuratively, it doesn’t matter. Success guaranteed, because Brussels sprouts loosen tongues: you get the craziest stories, both from those who love them and from those who hate them.

And yet we have long disposed the unpleasant smell which according to the Dutch writer Brandt Corstius rose from so many Dutch novels. The solution: we no longer cook them gray.

Yet the resistance among some is understandable: they used to be forced on children. The rule in the Netherlands was that a child had to eat at least the number of Brussels sprouts as his or her years of age. Time and again.

Brussels sprouts and other varieties of hardy cabbage were compulsory autumn and winter fare. However, children taste bitterness much more strongly than adults. It protects them from eating potentially dangerous herbs and vegetables. Researchers of the chemical senses have established this. A friend of mine reported that his parents left him hanging over his plate of Brussels sprouts for hours. When they finally left the room for a moment, he jumped up and buried the contents of his plate in the garden. His offspring no longer needs to take such risks. That exciting bitterness, the taste of danger, has been removed by cultivation. A pity in my opinion! This recipe brings it back with the cranberries and smoothes it a bit with honey. A recipe for children of all ages.

  • Knead the minced meat with breadcrumbs, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Form the mixture into small balls.
  • Heat the butter in a wide frying pan, brown the balls lightly all around over medium heat. Add the washed potatoes. Cover and fry gently for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked, turning frequently.
  • Bring plenty of water to the boil. Cook the Brussels sprouts uncovered for 4-5 minutes: they will still have a bite and look nice and green. Drain in a sieve.
  • Let the Brussels sprouts warm with the cooked potatoes and meat balls. Finally sprinkle in the cranberries. Bake while shaking, but make sure they don’t pop.
  • Serve with liquid honey to spoon over the plates.

Wine: Rosé d’Anjou.


Menu suggestion:

  • Starter: Grilled artichoke bottoms. Fill bottoms from a can with cubes of saveloy. Sprinkle grated young cheese on top. Put under a hot grill (not too closely) in an ovenproof dish until the cheese melts.
  • Dessert: French goat cheese with honey and crackers.

Deel recept