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Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic

Serves 6

2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 teasp oregano leaves, minced
2 teasp fresh lemon zest
2 lb baby brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed (cut larger ones in two)
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 & 1/2 cups pancetta in small dice, or lardons
3 tbsp red onion, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth, more if needed
2 tbsp chopped parsley

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs with the oregano and
zest. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil onto a cookie sheet, followed by the bread crumb
mixture. Mix well. Toast it in the oven, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 10
to 12 minutes.

2. Heat butter and remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
until foamy. Add the brussels sprouts cut side down, sprinkle with salt and
pepper, and sauté, until bottoms lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Work in
batches until all the sprouts are browned removing them to a plate when finished
3. Leaving any liquids in the pan add the diced pancetta, and sauté, tossing
frequently, until they begin to brown.

4. Return all the sprouts to the pan and cook over medium high heat until well
browned and softened slightly, about 8 minutes more. The pancetta will be crisp.
Reduce heat, add red onion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.

5. Increase heat to high, add balsamic vinegar and stock, and cook, tossing
frequently, until sprouts are glazed and tender, about 10 minutes; add more stock
if needed. Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and sprinkle with chopped
parsley. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and scatter bread crumbs on top.


Brussels Sprouts: A Horror Film

braised brussels sprouts

Happy Halloween! In keeping with the season I have a tricky treat for you. This treat is in the form of a mini-horror film I call Brussels Sprouts: The Revenge Of Farmer John! Click here or on screen grab below to watch film.

You might call it Brussels Sprouts: All Smelly and Green. Because be they supernatural or merely tricky to cook. I say they are indeed a treat most any time of the year.

But it’s true many people are afraid of Brussels sprouts– even horrified because they are often prepared in a horrifying manner…boiled.

Boiling really does not suit Brussels sprouts. That is because they are technically a cruciferous vegetable. Which is a fancy way of saying cabbage. As we all know, boiled cabbage can be stinky and mushy. So too, Brussels sprouts. In fact, in French they are called les choux de Bruxelles, which means cabbages of Brussels. So all the mistakes people make cooking cabbage can be amplified in these “little cabbages”!


Brussels Sprouts All Smelly & Green

I actually do like Brussels sprouts despite the attached video!

Many people despise them though. So it seemed funny to me to present them as everyone’s worst nightmare. People are afraid of them because they are often prepared in a horrible manner…boiled.

This is because they are technically a cruciferous vegetable. Which is a fancy way of saying cabbage. As we all know, boiled cabbage can be stinky and mushy. So too, Brussels sprouts. In fact, in French they are called les choux de Bruxelles, which means cabbages of Brussels. So all the mistakes people make cooking cabbage can be amplified in these “little cabbages”!