Brussels sprouts. One of those vegetables you either love or hate. We had them for every major holiday in my childhood. We used to call them ‘Texas Cabbage’, and I love them. Although I don’t remember my mother ever cooking fresh Brussels sprouts (they were always frozen), she did make a wonderful white sauce that she poured over them just before serving. To this day they remind me of family and holidays.
When I moved to the farm, we were planning our first Thanksgiving dinner when Val confided that she really didn’t like those Texas cabbages. What? Thanksgiving without Brussels sprouts? Since then, I was determined to find a treatment for those little gems that might excite her. I have roasted them with pancetta, sautéed them in chicken broth and finished them with fresh lemon juice to mixed reviews. Then I came across a recipe for braising them in chicken broth and white vermouth, then finishing them with a Dijon sauce. After experimenting with it and making some adjustments for my own personal leanings we decided it was a winner. Val can finally say, “I love Brussels sprouts.”
Braised Brussels Sprouts with Two Mustard’s:
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup white vermouth
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon coarse mustard
- 2 tablespoons flat-leafed parsley, chopped
- In a large, heavy skillet or Dutch over, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Arrange halved sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning until undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. If sprouts don’t all fit, brown in batches, then return all of them to pan before continuing.
- Sprinkle the sliced shallots over the top of sprouts, add vermouth and stock, then bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid and cook gently until the sprouts are tender and can be pierced easily with a paring knife, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl. Increase heat to medium, and add cream. Simmer for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Whisk in mustard’s. Adjust with more salt if necessary. Pour sauce over sprouts, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
This side dish is good with chicken, tenderloin filet or bone-in pork chops. The sauce alone would also work well with sautéed cabbage.
” The only stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” –Julia Child