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Savoury Christmas Sides

New potatoes in their skin with sage butter
from Jean-Francois Mallet's 'Beef and Potatoes'.

Serves 4Fired Potatoes in skin with sage butter

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) small new potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

100 g (3½ oz) butter

10 sage leaves

Special equipment : Tea towel (dish towel) 

Preparation time : 10 minutes Cooking time : 45 minutes

 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Scrub the potatoes in their skin under cold running water, then dry them in a tea towel (dish towel). Arrange them in a large roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Cook in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until they are crisp. Remove from the heat (the butter should be slightly brown). Set aside at room temperature.

 Once the potatoes are cooked,transfer them to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and butter. Heat through, tossing gently, for 2–3 minutes and serve with a salad or as a side to roast beef or chicken.


Charred brussels sprouts with guanciale
from Jess Pryles's 'Hardcore Carnivore'.


These ain’t yo mama’s sprouts, y’all! Guanciale is cured pork jowl, similar to pancetta. It renders down when you cook it, leaving lots of salty, delicious pork fat to fry up the sprouts. Look for the smaller baby sprouts, which are more tender than their larger counterparts.

Brussel Sprouts Guanciale

300 g (10½ oz) brussels sprouts

100 g (3½ oz) guanciale

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2–3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

squeeze of lemon (optional) 


Cut the tough stems off the brussels sprouts if they are large, then split each in half lengthways.

Chop the guanciale into small pieces. Place in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until the fat has rendered and the meat pieces are crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat to a bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.

Place the brussels sprouts in the pan, cut side down. Leave to cook for 3–4 minutes, until the cut side is browned, then flip them over and cook the other side for a further 3–4 minutes. Season the sprouts with the salt and pepper.

Return the guanciale pieces to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and
a little lemon juice, if desired, and cook for a few more minutes, or until the sprouts are just tender. Serve immediately.

Parsnips with browned butter, hazelnuts and thyme

from Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup's 'New York Christmas'.

8 parsnips (approx. 1 kg)Parsnips with Browned Butter, Hazelnuts and Thyme_pp122

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp honey

Salt, pepper

3 garlic cloves

6 sprigs thyme

70 g hazelnuts

50 g butter

Preheat the oven to 210°C. Trim and peel the parsnips and quarter lengthwise. Spread them in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Combine olive oil and honey in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the parsnips. Lightly crush the garlic cloves and add them to the tray together with the sprigs of thyme. Roast the parsnips in the preheated oven for 35–45 minutes (depending on size), turning a few times.

Meanwhile, dry-roast the hazelnuts in a small frying pan. Leave to cool and chop coarsely. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper, then heat the butter over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to brown, stirring occasionally. Pick off the leaves of the remaining sprigs of thyme and add to the browned butter together with the hazelnuts. Transfer the roasted parsnips to a serving platter. Remove the garlic and thyme sprigs. Toss with the browned butter, nuts and herbs and season with salt and pepper.



  • Beef and Potatoes by Jean-Francois Mallet
  • Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles
  • New York Christmas by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup 

Beef and Potatoes finalHardcore Carnivore 9781760527600New York Christmas