Beer Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Honey Mustard Glaze
I really left nothing out in the title for this post, but if you want me to tell you more about this dish, look no further! First of all, if you’re wondering how one can braise a vegetable (isn’t it usually a meat preparation?!) well I have news for you! You can braise anything! All braising means is to first cook the food with a dry heat (typically a pan-sear) and then to finish it off with a liquid, which usually helps tenderize the food that’s cooking. In this recipe today, that’s exactly what I do with some Brussels sprouts.
To break it down for you: first, we cook the bacon, which will render some delicious, sexy, smoky fat. Then, we remove the bacon and put our Brussels sprouts into the pan with the fat. In turn, they partially fry/sear in the bacon fat, yielding golden brown edges and a toasty caramelized flavor. Brussels sprouts are tougher, robust vegetables, so many people blanch them (AKA briefly cook in boiling water for 1 minute to tenderize) before putting them in the pan to sear. This is where I decided to go with a braise instead, which is essentially the opposite of the blanch method. I decided to give my Brussels a beer bath, so they soak up the moisture and the flavor. Then, I added the bacon back into pan and toss it all together with a simple honey mustard glaze. And that’s the dish! Shockingly easy and unbelievably flavorful.
In a nutshell, here’s the method!
|1lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
|8oz. bacon, thinly sliced into strips
|1/4cup beer (I used Stella)
|Salt, for seasoning
|Pepper, for seasoning
|2tbsp dijon mustard
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon. Move it around the pan every 30 seconds-minute or so, until the bacon is fully cooked and crispy, and as much fat is rendered as possible.
Keep the fat in the pan and remove the bacon. Place it on a plate.
Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan with the bacon fat, with the largest flat sides of the sprouts facing the hot pan surface. Make sure the pan is not over crowded and that each sprout is touching the hot surface, which will ensure even browning.
After 1-2 minutes, season the sprouts with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, then toss the Brussels sprouts. Let them cook for another minute, then toss again. Continue doing so until they are adequately golden brown (probably another 3-5 minutes.)
Once the sprouts are charred to your liking, pour 1/4 cup of beer into the pan. Toss the sprouts around and scrape any golden brown bits off of the bottom. Adjust the heat to high and let the beer cook off.
While the beer is cooking off, mix the dijon mustard and honey in a small bowl until combined.
Once there is no more liquid left in the pan of Brussels sprouts, adjust the heat to medium low. Add the bacon back and pour all of the honey mustard mixture onto the Brussels sprouts and bacon. Toss until they are fully coated and remove the pan from the heat. Plate and serve immediately! Enjoy!