Cooking Food Recipe Vegetables

Actually Good Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are gross.

At least, that’s what I argued – firmly and adamantly – for the majority of my life.

Like with most things I used to hate as a child (see: fish, salad, and fish, and fish and fish) I just needed to figure out a way to make them delicious… and maybe to grow up a little.

According to science – and by that I mean my personal experience – people tend to hate Brussels sprouts for two big ol’ reasons: they’re bitter, and they stink. It turns out that these two problems are fairly easily avoided: add something sweet (check the recipe, it’s legit) and cook them in a well-ventilated area, like – I dunno – OUTSIDE.

These tiny cabbages (seriously, look it up) may have a bad reputation, but I can guarantee that this one is at least worth a try.

Ingredient list:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts – trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1 shallot – sliced thin or diced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or agave
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (for initial dressing and the cooking surface

Instructions for cooking:

  1. Prepare the sprouts by cleaning them, trimming any extra chunk of stems, and slicing them in half from top to bottom.
  2. Toss the sprouts in 1 tablespoon of oil, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper, and set it aside while you prepare the dressing.
  3. Slice (or dice, your choice) the shallots, and place them in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the honey (or agave) on top of the shallots. If you want a sweeter dish, add some more at this point.
  5. Pour the vinegar and wine over the shallots and honey, season with another sprinkle of salt and pepper, give it a quick mix, and set it aside.
  6. Place a frying pan – preferably a cast iron pan – on your heat source (I use the side-burner on my grill for this one), add a tablespoon or two of oil (enough to coat the bottom) and preheat it over medium-high heat.
  7. Once the oil is shimmering, place the Brussels sprouts, cut side down, in the pan, and cook until they begin to caramelize – about 4-5 minutes. Note: don’t take my word for it on timing, every heat source is different, so make sure to check your food!
  8. Once the cut sides have turned that wonderful golden brown, flip the sprouts over to the round side. Take the shallots OUT of the liquid, and scatter them around in the pan (save the liquid for a couple minutes).
  9. Stir the up-ended sprouts and the shallots around for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Once the second sides begin to brown, pour in the remaining vinegar/honey/wine, and let it cook down until most of the liquid is gone. Make sure to keep stirring it occasionally, so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  11. Serve it hot, but don’t forget to scrape all the good stuff (crispy shallot bits) out of the pan before you do!
Step 7 – cut-side down to start
Steps 8-10: add the shallots first, and then pour the liquid in after a few minutes, this gives the leaf-side a chance to crisp up before you introduce the liquid.
Serve it with something delicious, like steak. And wine. And beer.


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