I love chestnuts!
For me, the perfect holiday moment is wandering through a Christmas market with a paper sack of warm chestnuts.
When we lived in Andorra I had a cleaning lady. She cleaned my entire house every week for the equivalent of $25.00. She and her husband had a plan. They were from Portugal but they could make more money in Andorra. Their plan was to work as much as possible doing anything and everything for 10 years, by which time they would have saved enough to retire back to Portugal. They rented a tiny apartment and worked 12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week. During their vacations they would go back to Portugal and work on restoring the old house in the countryside that they had bought for retirement.
She always brought me something – a bottle of her father’s homemade wine, some local honey, or, in the fall, huge sacks of chestnuts from their tree.
Those chestnuts kept me happy all winter.
She and her husband retired and moved back to Portugal about 3 years after we left Andorra – right on schedule.
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Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
Brussels sprouts and chestnuts are a classic pairing, popular at Christmas but we like them anytime.
Instructions are given for both fresh and canned chestnuts (which are usually in a jar with no liquid).
Time is given for canned chestnuts. Add 30 – 45 minutes if using fresh. Times depend on your familiarity with peeling chestnuts.
Leftovers can be sliced and fried in a bit of oil.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Vegetables
- 24 – 32 Brussels sprouts – I normally serve 6 – 8 per person
- 16 – 24 chestnuts, fresh or canned, 4 – 6 per person
- 2 cups (16oz, 480ml) beef stock if using fresh chestnuts
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock if using canned chestnuts
- 3 tbs butter
- 1 tsp thyme
- sea salt and fresh pepper
- If using fresh chestnuts: With a sharp knife cut an ‘X’ through tough outer shell.
- Put in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Removing 1 chestnut at a time peel off shells and inner skin.
- Put peeled chestnuts into a saucepan, cover with beef broth, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.
- If using canned chestnuts: Rinse and drain.
- To cook Brussels sprouts: Slice a bit off of the stem end and peel away the outer leaves – any that are damaged, wilted or discolored.
- With the tip of your knife make a small X in the stem end – that, supposedly, aids even cooking.
- Put into a saucepan with 1/2 cup beef stock, and enough water to almost cover.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until done, 10 – 15 minutes.
- They should be just tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
- When done remove, drain and set aside.
- To finish: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add thyme, pepper, and stir to combine.
- Add sprouts, chestnuts, and sauté about 5 minutes (longer if sprouts and/or chestnuts are cold).
- Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Chestnuts must stay hot to peel easily. If they cool down too much while you are working, bring them to a boil again.
Both chestnuts and Brussel sprouts can be cooked earlier in the day and finished at the last minute.
Keywords: brussels sprouts, chestnuts
Remember the feral cat we started feeding? I have photos….
He likes to sit and look at our house:
He has been in the brambles across the lane a few mornings when I walked Guapa so I started putting his food by the gate.
A few days ago mon mari was gone and had left the gate open. When I looked out he had, apparently, decided to check out the barn.
I hid behind the barn door and watched. When he saw me he stopped and stared for a few minutes, than turned and sauntered back out.
I followed him. I was able to get close – if you think 15 feet is close….
You can just see him, eyes glowing, watching me watch him.
Mon mari is building him a fancy, insulated cat house.
Pandemic entertainment continues.