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Braised Brussels Sprouts

I am not going to be one of those food bloggers who sings the praises of some less fashionable vegetable just to be seem cool and winning. Truth is, Brussels sprout aren’t as naturally tasty as a lot of the other vegetables out there. Give me a tomato, carrot or green bean over a sprout any day. That said, Brussels sprouts can be pretty tasty with a little work.

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After looking at a bunch a recipes it seems like braising them is the way to go. You can either do it with water or a broth, or using the sprouts own moisture. The second technique, what I will call “dry braising,” probably isn’t quite braising but it is sort of close. With both techniques you cook the sprouts covered for half the time and then uncovered for the remainder to evaporate any remaining liquid or brown them if no additional liquid was added.

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I went for the traditional braise, but a recipe for what I am calling the “dry braise” is here. For liquid braising you could use a variety of flavors, I went for chicken broth and Spanish Smoked Paprika. Something like lime zest and red pepper flakes could work too.

Braised Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts (look for small, firm, & bright green sprouts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • Flavors (lime juice & zest, or paprika or whatever you see fit)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional, but tasty)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the sprouts and remove any remaining stems and discolored leaves.
  2. Cut all sprouts in half from tip to stem. Baby ones do not need to be cut.
  3. Add all ingredients to saucepan or frying pan, with a lid. Bring to a boil in over a medium-high heat.
  4. Once it reaches a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for ~6 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the remaining liquid cooks off.

13 thoughts on “Braised Brussels Sprouts

  1. I love this thread – mostly cause I love Brussels Sprouts. I started cooking them in the mi-70s. I would peel out all the leaves to the core and saute them in butter till they started to caramelize. It really changed the flavor for me and many people who before then hated them. (Kudos to Peg Curtin for this cooking lesson.) I expanded this by including both onions & garlic plus a little sausage (hot Italian sausage) uncased and crumbled into the mixture.

    Over the years I got lazy and just chopped them up or in half and roasted them. I also, for health reasons, switched to olive oil. In the past month I started buying the branches, and actually was looked at this tread to see if there was a way to keep them longer on the branch.

    I also got even lazier and just snipped them off the branch, leaving them whole and roasting them with just olive oil and garlic. This actually changes the flavor back to steamed since that is basically what happens within the outer leaves. Then, like a crayfish, I pinch the center core out.

    My next big adventure with brussels sprouts is to use some Carpier Smoked Extra Virgin Olive Oil (ordered from LaTienda online) which should be coming this week. I’m excited to see what this will be like.

    There is a big taste difference between roasting/sauteing vs steaming them and a difference between both olive oil and butter. They are fun to play with and provided you neither overcook or under cook will always be delicious. Oh, by the way, I tend to roast everything – including greens, okra and any veggie that is ‘of the moment’.

  2. I eat brussels sprouts four or five times a week. Can’t get enough. Here’s what I do. Make the X cut but on the second, halve the sprout. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350 for 35 – 45 minutes depending on your oven. This dish will convert strict carnivores to brussels sprouts. They are incredibly satisfying.

    • Our farm share had brussel sprouts today and I almost did not take them because it’s the one vegetable that I do not like. Your recipe was easy to make and I was surpised how delicious they were. My wife and I ate them like popcorn while watching a movie. Thanks.

      ~Keith

  3. Pingback: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  4. Asian style sounds like a great idea! I wish I could find some more fresh sprouts to experiment with. I did manage to try roasted sprouts before our farmer’s market closed for the winter. They came out great. I gotta get the recipe and photos up.

  5. Luke, I LOVE brussel sprouts. Been getting them at the farmers market. I usually boil until just cooked, then saute with butter and bread crumbs, lemon juice to finish. I had a great dish at a restaurant recently– shredded and cooked with hazelnuts and pancetta. It was good enough that we ordered seconds.

  6. I heard the overwhelming hew and cry! I purchased another Brussels Sprout branch last weekend and tried roasting… It turned out great. I hopefully will be useful and get that on Cookography soon.

    And sauted with butter and bacon? That has to be good… I will add that to the list.

  7. Let me second the call for roasting! Drizzled with olive oil, good salt and fresh cracked pepper and roasted until they are crisp on the outside and and soft on the inside – so good! My other favorite method is to halve them and saute them with onions and bacon. Family favorite at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

  8. Interesting comment, “Brussels sprout arenâ??t as naturally tasty as a lot of the other vegetables out there.”

    In the past, I would have whole-heartedly agreed with you. But, like many foods that are an “acquired taste”, I learned to really like the little cabbage-like creatures.

    Now, I love them prepared just about any way, but sautéing or braising is my favorite.

    A little chopped bacon or smoked jowl can REALLY kick ‘em up a notch (sorry, E!).

  9. That does sounds pretty good! We just tried something similar with sweet potatoes wedges last night. If I can get my hands on another Brussels sprouts stalk this weekend, I will give it a try.

    Thanks!

  10. Brussel sprouts not as naturally tasty as other veggies? How dare you speak such lies! Okay, well to be honest until last year I wouldn’t touch one with a ten foot poll. Now, they are easily my favorite veggie. Have you had them roasted in the oven? Super easy – just toss them with olive oil and some seasonings, stick them on a cookie sheet in a 375 oven til they are done. You’ll know, they’ll be soft but have a nice brown outer skin. They are AMAZING, I could eat them every day!

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