Meet Mark Taylor, Head Chef at Karma St. Martin’s who waxes lyrical about his favourite veggie, the often neglected Brussels Sprout with a delicious recipe to share….
2021 has begun and forever the optimist, I am holding onto the hope that we will return to some sort of normalcy with International travel resuming in the near future.
With Brexit firmly in place, we are mindful there may be changes in how much produce we can import from Europe in the coming years. This, however, provides the perfect opportunity for us to ‘pivot’ our mindsets and focus on what we have growing in our own backyard.
Here at Karma St Martin’s resort, we have always taken advantage of the island’s own local produce. We work directly with the farmers to plant specific items for use later in the season. This approach helps to not only reduce food miles and support our local producers but also educate our team on seasonality and only using what you can grow on your doorstep.
IIn this part of the world, January is the season where winter vegetables grow in abundance – including leeks, parsnips, squash, swede – and Brussels Sprouts!
Brussels sprouts often get a ‘bad rap’ and are a neglected vegetable only used in this part of the world during the festive season. However, these little bad boys are one of my favourite vegetables and can be used in various ways. Sprouts are like baby cabbages so when approached as such they can produce outstanding dishes.
With this in mind, I am happy to share one of my favorite recipes with Brussels sprouts as the centrepiece. The sprouts in this particular recipe can be replaced with most cabbages including savoy and hispi. Be mindful this recipe calls for a lot of knife work to cut and slice the sprouts so be prepared.
Pancetta & Maple Syrup Brussels Sprouts
- Serves:4-6 people as a side dish
- Start by adding a little olive oil and the pancetta lardons to a medium sized and heavy bottomed pan. Begin on low heat to help render down the fat content from the pancetta. Time and patience are key in this situation so the lower the heat and longer you allow the pancetta to render, the better. Hint: Try to get the fat to as close to golden brown as possible.
- Whilst allowing the pancetta to release its fat, start slicing the Brussels sprouts and keep them as uniform as possible so they can cook equally.
One tip I would like to share with you is if your ingredient is rounded in shape, always try and cut on a flat surface. Allow 1 slice across or lengthways to help create a flat surface to continue from. Slice all the sprouts and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the pancetta lardons with a slotted spoon and retain the fat on the heat.
- Add the butter as well as thyme and rosemary. Wait for the butter to start foaming before adding the sliced or shredded sprouts. As you add the sliced/shredded sprouts, keep stirring the pan. Deglaze the pan with a small glass of white wine to help lift all that flavour from the bottom of the pan.
- Keep stirring on a low heat until the sprouts’ leaves are soft to touch and then add the pancetta lardons and sliced chestnuts. Allow those to heat through and serve.
Keep an eye out for Mark Taylor’s monthly seasonal updates and recipes to savour.