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The main event: scrumptious Christmas sides reimagined

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These reimagined Xmas sides are so good they’ll give your beautifully cooked turkey a run for its money

Sprouts with pistachios and pomegranate
Serves 8

• 940ml pomegranate juice
• 8tbsp sugar
• 2tbsp lemon juice
• 3tbsp olive oil
• 500g Brussels sprouts, halved
• 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
• 100g pomegranate seeds

First, make the pomegranate molasses by heating the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon in an uncovered saucepan. Simmer for about an hour until the sugar has dissolved and the juice has reduced to a syrup. Set aside, or store in the fridge. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Put the sprouts in the pan, cut-side down, and leave them to fry for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally until brown and blistered. Scatter over the pistachios and stir-fry until toasted. Remove from the heat and stir through the pomegranate seeds. Season, and drizzle with a little pomegranate molasses to serve.

Red cabbage with port, prunes and orange
Serves 8

• 50g butter
• 1 large onion, sliced
• 1 large red cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
• 200ml port
• 1 orange, juiced and zested
• 1 large cinnamon stick
• 1tsp ground cloves
• 2tbsp light brown soft sugar
• 100g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
• 6 bay leaves

Heat the oven to 160ºC. Heat the butter in a large pan until sizzled to a nutty brown. Add the onion and fry over a medium heat until soft and starting to colour. Tip the remaining ingredients into the pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place the pan in the oven for 1 hour, then stir, cover and cook for a further 1 hour until the cabbage is tender. If it looks dry, add a splash of water; if there’s still liquid in the pan once cooked, turn the heat up until it evaporates. Season and serve with a couple of bay leaves.

Sweet and smoky root vegetables
Serves 10

• 75g butter
• 75g castor sugar
• 1.2kg root vegetables cut in half lengthways
• Smoked salt to taste
• 1 lemon, juiced
• 8tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

The day before, put the butter, sugar and 500ml water in a frying pan. Heat until the butter is melted, then bring to the boil and simmer until lightly syrupy. Drop in the vegetables and cook, covered, for 6-8 minutes until just tender. Transfer, with the liquid, to a roasting tin. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to eat, take the vegetables out of the fridge, and discard the syrup. Heat a frying pan until searing hot then, in batches, put the vegetables cutside down in the pan and cook for a minute on each side until visibly charred. Sprinkle over the smoked salt, lemon juice and parsley to serve.

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