Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon or Not
The hot new-old vegetable last year was Brussels Sprouts, but cooked in a whole new way. Do you want to make the brussels sprouts you’ve been eating lately in top restaurants at home? Brussels Sprouts are on every fine dining restaurant menu in the last couple years. My sweetie and I paid $8 for about ten Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo Picante at the Lazy Ox Canteen. We fought over who would get the last one. I can show you how to make them for a lot less money and you won’t be fighting over the last one with your sweetie, because they are soooo affordable, healthy…and delicious.
Brussels Sprouts have gotten a bad rap. My sweetie enjoys them cooked to death and smelling up the house with the sulphur smell that they emit, which is what most people detest. I stay away when he cooks them. But it doesn’t have to be like that. I promise. Cutting them in half or quarters allows them to cook faster and more even. This prevents them from being overcooked and releasing the offending hydrogen sulfide chemical in the center, according to Russ Parsons, author of “How to Pick a Peach”.
Braising is the perfect cooking method for these tiny cabbages. It sends them into a different orbit and they are sweetened by getting a quick blast of heat with fat to caramelize the centers and then a slow moist heat to make them crisp tender. Try them. You’ll like them…and if you love bacon…well, need I say more!
If you want them picante the way they serve them at the Lazy Ox Canteen, change out the bacon for some Spanish Chorizo or add in some red pepper flakes. Or skip the meat and go vegetarian with olive oil and change out the water for some veggie stock to add more flavor. Just don’t overcook them. Keep them crisp tender – the new way to serve brussels sprouts.
Braised Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 cups water or stock
- 1 pinch salt & pepper to taste
1. Wash brussels sprouts and remove any damaged outer leaves. Cut through the center in half or quarters so that all pieces are a similar size and the center holds the leaves on.
2. Add oil or bacon to a skillet. Cook the bacon til it is crisp and remove it to a paper towel to cool. When cool, crumble into bacon bits.
3. Add brussels sprouts to the bacon fat or olive oil with cut sides down. Cook on medium high heat until the cut surfaces are browned and begin to caramelize. Add water or stock, 1/2 cup at a time to the pan and turn heat to medium-low. Add more water/stock as needed so pan does not go dry until they are done. DO NOT COVER. Braise the sprouts until they are tender crisp when pierced with a fork, but not mushy, about five minutes or less. Remove immediately from heat to serve.
4. If using olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. If using bacon, skip the salt. Plate the brussels sprouts and sprinkle with bacon bits.
Servings: 4 149 calories per serving
Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes