Sunday, February 9, 2014

The best Brussels sprouts ever!

Good old Brussels sprouts. Most people seem to either love them or hate them and in our house it was no different: I love them and my boyfriend hated them. I say 'was' and 'hated', because since I prepare the sprouts like in this recipe, he loves them too!

The secret is in the sauce. It's rich, savoury and well...just awesome. I can't rave about this dish enough. It is one of the most comforting and satisfying winter dishes you can eat, I think. But I will quit talking about how much I love this dish now and just give you the recipe. If you try it, please let me know how it turned out and if you liked it just as much as we do!

The best Brussels sprouts ever
(2 generous servings)

500 gr (1.1 pounds) Brussels sprouts (base trimmed)
0.5 tbsp butter
200 ml (6.5 ounces) of heavy cream
500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock * (see note at bottom)
1 small onion, chopped finely
60 grams (2 oz) of bacon, coursely chopped
handful of grated Parmesan cheese

In a big pan, bring slightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the sprouts, bring quickly to a boil again and boil the sprouts for about 8-10 minutes, until just tender (don't overcook them). Drain, quickly rinse with cold water, drain again and set aside.

Preheat oven to 200 C (about 400 F). In a skillet or saucepan, reduce the cream to about 100 ml (it should no longer be very liquid, but it should coat the back of a spoon. Don't let it get too syrupy though, because it will reduce even more in the oven later). Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet and sautee the onions and bacon on low, for about 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock and on a medium to high heat, let it reduce for about 20-30 minutes, (or) until the stock has reduced to about half a cup (125 ml). Add the reduced cream and stir well. If it is still very thin, reduce a little more, but be careful not to let it get too thick. It's good enough when it just about coats the back of a spoon. Now it's time to add some salt and pepper to taste (because of the bacon and the fond, it's easy to over salt, so be careful).

Mix the sprouts and sauce in a casserole dish and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top. Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes and enjoy!

* Note: I always use real (home made) unsalted chicken stock for this. I have no idea how this turns out with commercial stock, but my guess is that it would be way too salty, because of all the reducing. If you try to make this recipe with bought stock, make sure it doesn't contain (much) salt

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