Friday, February 01, 2008

Beer-Braised Brussel Sprouts

No, I can't resist alliterating. I got the idea for this from carbonnade, the Belgian beef stew made with beer. I don't have Mastering the Art of French Cooking with me, but I remember Julia Child saying that the beer gave it character, and the brown sugar smoothed out the beer. Confirming my suspicion that ingredients starting the same letter are interchangable, I replaced the beef with brussels sprouts with delicious results. This takes 20-30 minutes to make, depending on how much work your sprouts take to prepare, and it serves two.
  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbs. dark beer
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • salt, pepper

If the sprouts need it, trim off their outer leaves and cut off their stems. Cut them in half if they're big and you have the energy for it. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet that can be covered. Add the well-salted sprouts and stir occasionally (about every thirty seconds). Grind some pepper on them. Regulate the heat to make sure they brown nicely. When they're browned all over, add the beer and brown sugar. Give it a stir, lower the heat, and cover. Cook until the sprouts have lost their crunch but are still firm, which was about seven minutes for me, though my brussels sprouts were smaller than usual.

The stew that inspired this recipe has onions in it. Maybe they would be a good addition. I'm also interested in varying the fat. Butter is the obvious choice, but I bet it would be good with goose fat or lard too.

1 comment:

Seth said...

To further test your suspicion, why don't you try making saltines with escarole?