Ah the Brussels Sprout. The grievous, scandalous, nasty hunk of vegetable. And it has the name “sprout” attached to it. That makes it sound DELICIOUS, amirite?
Look, these things hold bad memories for many of us. They were some sort of green thing our parents steamed and doused with butter (if you were lucky) and forced to eat. They were a member of the “you will sit there ALL night and FINISH those!” family. Well, my dear friends…welcome to the new age of brussels sprouts. Allow me to serenade your
ears eyes with the sound sight of these words…Braised. Crispy. Tender. Bacon.
So, have I got your attention now? 🙂
What these are, are marvelous. May I present, Kara Brown’s ‘Braised Brussels Sprouts’
3 or 4 strips of bacon. Fried crispy.
One whole bunch of brussels sprouts: Washed, trimmed (larger ones cut in half)
1 cup chicken stock, more if needed
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
First thing’s first. Bacon. Because what good is a vegetable without some bacon? Exactly.
Get yourself some strips and fry those puppies up nice and crisp. Set ’em aside and let ’em drain. Leave the grease in the pan!
Now, some of you may be familiar with “braising” and some of you may not.
Braise [breyz] –verb (used with object), braised, brais·ing.
to cook (meat, fish, or vegetables) by sautéeing in fat and then simmering slowly in very little liquid.
Most of us think of meat when we hear braise, but it can be applied to vegetables as well. And it is marvelous.
So, after you’ve fried your bacon, you want to get started on those sprouts. Clean them, trim them (if necessary) and cut the larger ones in half.
Get that pan nice and hot again and toss the sprouts in there. The sound you hear, is the sound of crackling happiness. Toss them about to get them all coated in the heavenly grease. Let them brown up a lil bit whilst hitting them with some salt and pepper.
Next step is chicken stock. You can use water, but if you want flavor…use the stock. Pour enough stock in to cover the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat down to a low simmer, make sure the liquid is actually simmering, season them with a bit of marjoram, thyme and then cover.
Don’t peek! It’s pretty important you don’t lift that lid (which is why we don’t have any pictures of this part) The steam is also what helps cook these things and the more you let out, the more they dry out. And we really don’t want that. When it looks like most/all of the liquid is gone, give them a test. They should be fork tender. Sprinkle with a touch of fresh nutmeg and pull those bad boys out of there. Top with crumbled, crispy bacon and enjoy the best brussels sprouts you’ll ever have (a little presumptuous I know). They should be tender, slightly crispy and loaded with flavor.