Not Your Momma’s Brussel Sprouts

 

When I was a child my Mom would make us sit at the kitchen table until we finished all of our food. I’m sure many of you can relate! Finishing everything was usually not a problem, except on the nights dinner included either peas or brussel sprouts. Yuck! I remember many nights when I would slip them into a napkin and shove them into the back of the small drawer on the table (what a lifesaver that drawer was!) Don’t worry I always made sure to sneak back around and throw them away at some point, no rotting vegetables were left behind.

Well fast forward to 20ish years and I still don’t like peas, but I now love brussel sprouts. My husband and I were eating dinner at a local restaurant here in Orlando and one of the side items was brussel sprouts. Matt wanted to get them, but I wasn’t so sure but I decided to give them a shot. What arrived at our table was a bowl of deliciousness! They were cut in half slightly charred on the bottom and a little sweet from a jam, possibly apricot, used in cooking.

I had clearly been missing out all these years! Why did I hate them as a child, but they’re so good now? Well like most vegetables my Mom either steamed or boiled them and they made it to my plate a messy unseasoned mess. You have to make sure you don’t pass that sweet spot where they are cooked, but still have a slight crunch to them. I asked how the restaurant cooked them and they said the secret was a little bacon grease and using a cast iron skillet. After that meal I made it my mission to recreate these amazing brussel sprouts at home. Now that we found the formula brussel sprouts have become our favorite side item with dinner.

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  • Step 1: Place 1.5 tbls bacon grease into your cast iron skillet and heat to medium high. (My husband makes his own smoked bacon in our outdoor smoker and we always save the grease when he cooks. It’s the key to amazing brussel sprouts!)

 

  • Step 2: Using fresh brussel sprouts. My favorite place to get my sprouts is at the farmer’s market, but if they are out I will get them at Sam’s Club. They are great quality and a better deal then at the local grocery store. You can use as many as  you want. I usually make about 15-20 sprouts and that’s plenty for two people. I start by cutting them in half from stem to top. I got that glass cutting board a few years ago and I love it! It’s so easy to clean and it’s so cute you can leave it on your counter all the time. I was tired of having to dig out the cutting board all the time.

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  • Step 3: Once your pan has heated up and grease is melted place brussel sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Very important to make sure all the bottoms are flat on in the pan or they won’t char properly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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  • Step 4: Cover with lid and let cook for about 10 min under cover. This helps the heat to cook the entire sprout.

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  • Step 5: After 10 min remove the cover and let cook for for another 10 min or until the bottom of the sprouts have just a slight char to them. Make sure to check them every few minutes while cooking. Once they are charred enough to your preference, drizzle a light layer of honey across the top of the sprouts. We’ve also made them with hot honey and it’s even more delicious!

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That’s it your now ready to plate and serve with your favorite meal! We had them with some delicious ribs that my husband made with his newest cooking toy his sous vide. He LOVES it and I’m afraid he might not go back to grilling and smoking any time soon!! You can see we like a fair amount of char on the bottom of our sprouts but that’s totally up to how long you let them cook in the pan. That’s why it’s important to use the cast iron skillet. A non stick or metal pan won’t give you that “grilled” char.

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Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!! Let me know what you think if you make them? Do you have any favorite recipes? Share them with me below!!

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