Brussels Sprout Hash with Herbed Pancetta

As far back as I can remember Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rap. After making this unique hash I have safely deduced that a whole lot of people didn’t know how to cook them. Today’s brunch dish should not only awaken a love for these weird little cabbage sprouts but also a new-found appreciation for their size, texture and flavour.

From a scientific point of view these brassicas are quite interesting. Brussels sprouts have been documents to contains two compounds quite useful to human immunology and health; Sulforaphane and Indole-3-carbinol.

Sulforaphone is compound that has been suggested to have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. Sulforaphone acts as an inhibitor to many drug-metabolisming enzymes, essentially down-regulating and inhibiting various cancer causing pathways. If you are interesting in reading more about this compound start with the Wikipedia page and then go on to do some more literature reviews. It has been also noted that the only method of cooking that would impact the levels of sulforaphone is boiling.

Indole-3-carbinol is a compound produced by the breakdown of what is called glucosinolate glucobrassicin, and as “brassicin” suggested it is found in high levels in cruciferous vegetables. Many of the human studies done on this compound have yielded mixed results, however, in vitro and some animal models suggest it may have particular anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-atherogenic effects.  In Conclusion: Eat your veggies.

THE RECIPE

This is recipe is fairly simple and can be made vegetarian quite simply with the replacement of the pancetta with any meat substitute you prefer. As a dietary note I would recommend you ensure your pancetta is fresh and free from preservatives or substitute it for a meat you can be confident with. After giving your meat a good splash of herbs its jut a matter of making sure your onions are cooked until translucent and mixing everything up.  Balsamic vinegar is added to give the dish a little bit of a kick. Don’t add too much,  a little goes a long way. Apple Cider vinegar is also added to enhance the flavours at the end of the cooking. Apple Cider vinegar is different than balsamic as it is a fermented vinegar rather than distilled, imparting many health benefits. Often some will mix some of the vinegar with water and drink daily! I will let you decide how to proceed!

Enjoy!

-GC

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