The Thing About Brussels Sprouts

In the same plant family as cabbage, broccoli and kale, Brussels sprouts have been cultivated in Belgium (hence the name) since the 1200’s.

Extremely high in Vitamin C and a good source of iron, a lot of people dislike Brussels sprouts, reporting that they have a bitter or sulphur-like flavor.  The objectionable taste actually comes from a compound called sinigrin (CAS 3952-98-5), which is released when the vegetables are overcooked.

So to ensure mild, sweet-tasting Brussels sprouts, simply do not overcook them..

Brussels Sprouts and Ham in Mustard Cheese Sauce
Brussels Sprouts and Ham in Mustard Cheese Sauce

Place washed, untrimmed Brussels sprouts in a covered steamer for 6-7 minutes until bright green but underdone. Shock the sprouts in ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve the color.

Trim off the stems and peel away the outer leaves.  You want the sprouts to be as uniform in size as possible, so you might cut the larger ones in half (or even in quarters) and leave the smaller ones whole.

Heat some fat (bacon grease, butter or leaf lard all work well) in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and Brussels sprouts and cook until both are well browned.

Add uncured ham and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add fresh cream and coarse mustard (preferably homemade) and simmer until it sprouts are fork-tender.

Add cheese such as raw-milk cheddar with caraway seeds and stir to combine.  Add some chopped parsley for visual appeal if you like.

Season with sea salt, freshly-ground pepper and perhaps a few red pepper flakes and serve hot from the pan.

This post is part of the Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet


Bookmark and Share

21 thoughts on “The Thing About Brussels Sprouts

    1. Outrageous amounts of Vitamin C, anti-cancer properties.. steamed, braised, roasted – all good, and good for you.

      Pennywise Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week – thanks, Kimi! :)

  1. Yummy! We love brussels sprouts. The kids usually eat one or two raw while I’m prepping them. We usually roast them with some herbs, coconut oil and a dab of butter.

    I never could understand why people said that they didn’t like them. I can’t imagine a bitter brussels sprout… How much do you have to cook them to do that to them??

    1. I spent almost my whole life thinking that I hated beets because the only ones I ever had were from a can. Anyone who has ever roasted a just-dug beet can tell you how astonishingly good they really are :-)

  2. My daughter loves them, but she’s the only one of us. I make them once a month when they are in season. But I’m thinking that ham and cheese could induce a sprout frenzy. Gotta try this. Thanks! I thought vitamin C cooked out, though.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s