Monday, January 10, 2011

My Boys Heart Brussel Sprouts

When we go to the grocery store, if there are brussel sprouts in the produce section, you can bet that I am not going home without a nice big bag of them. My boys squeal and jump up and down, “Can we get some? Can we get some?? PLEASE?!?” 

As you can imagine, this usually provokes gawking stares from strangers who have not yet tried the following recipe for incredible brussel sprouts. 

Fasten your seat-belt.

I stumbled upon an amazing recipe that I then changed a bit to make my own.  It transforms the plain old brussel sprout from a squidgey, gross, bitter, vegetable of Thanksgiving dinner obligation into yummy gems you will gobble up like candy. Yes, candy.

The key is that you NEED to have FRESH brussel sprouts, NOT frozen ones. All the cellular walls in the frozen sprouts have been broken when the moisture in them froze and expanded. They will be wilty and soggy regardless of the magnificence of this particular recipe. DO NOT USE FROZEN BRUSSEL SPROUTS. EVER.

1 pound fresh (NOT FROZEN) brussel sprouts
10 strips of bacon (or a whole package,if you prefer)
1 large red onion, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock or white wine 

Trim the brussel sprouts (I always cut the bottom then remove the four outer leaves, or more if they are yucky) then cut the sprout in half lengthwise so you can see the stem and the lovely leaves all lifting upward toward the “top” of the tiny “cabbage”.

Slice up the bacon rashers into little strips and get them cooking in a pan over medium heat.

Once the bacon is crisp, drain off any excessive fat, leaving some in which the onion and sprouts will fry. Put the bacon in a bowl to the side so they do not over cook.

Next, add the diced red onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.

Add in the brussel sprout halves and stir all around. Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Dump in the stock or white wine, give a quick stir, clamp a lid on and wait about two minutes. Pour into a bowl with the bacon and mix together.

Serve immediately, and I do mean immediately. I typically have everyone come to the table right when I put the brussel sprouts into the pan as they are best IMMEDIATELY after you cook them for the two minutes.

Serve with anything! Goes well as a side dish, starter dish, or as the star of the meal.

NOTE: If you reserve the bacon fat in a small jar in your fridge it keeps for up to a week. I often use it to fry eggs in the morning or to cook something that could benefit from the flavour - hash-browns, burgers, chilli, spaghetti sauce, chicken, beef, philly cheese steak (sandwiches), anything "southwestern" or "tex mex", and the list goes on. Need more ideas? Comment!


  1. Mmmm... sounds good! I'm skeptical that my boys will jump up and down, but I'm going to try this recipe and we'll see! Bacon makes everything better! :) Thanks for following my post, I wanted to see what yours was all about. Stay warm up there in Canada!

  2. Andrea! Thanks for visiting! I was initially quite skeptical about this one too, but after the boys had brussel sprouts this way a couple of times, they started the jumping up and down in the produce aisle routine. I'm staying warm tonight with a good curry. :D Yum!