Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Herbs

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Brussels sprouts.  Ok, if you're still reading, you are probably not one who reflexively cringes at the thought of this polarizing vegetable.  I get it---they are not for everybody.  But if you or someone you like to cook for does enjoy partaking of the tender splendor that makes up the essence of the Brussels sprout, this recipe can become a go-to when a savory side dish is called for----Hmmm.  Oh yeah, Thanksgiving.....   

Unlike the more standard roasting or steaming of brussels sprouts, this recipe utilizes the braising technique.  They are browned in a little butter and oil and then slowly simmered with some good chicken stock (or turkey stock if it's on hand this time of year).  Combined with some bacon (always a good friend of a green vegetable☺), some shallots, and a few herbs, these edible buds are fork tender and quite possibly capable of winning over a few of those curled up noses at the table.

Other side dishes that might like to serve for your Thanksgiving spread...

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Herbs
serves 8

2 pounds brussels sprouts
5 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch squares
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup chicken stock, divided
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Remove any dry or yellow outer leaves from the sprouts.  Slice off the dry stem end and cut into quarters; set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until golden brown, about 7 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.

Return the pan to medium heat, add the shallots and thyme and cook until soft, about 5 minutes  Transfer the shallot mixture to the bowl with the bacon.  Pour 1/4 cup of the stock into the pan and, using a wooden spoon, stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Pour the stock over the bacon mixture.

Wipe out the pan with paper towels and place over medium-high heat.  Melt the butter and oil.  Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt; stir to coat evenly.  Cook until the sprouts begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir again, then cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 cup of stock.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more stock as needed until the sprouts are soft and tender, about 15 minutes more.  Add the bacon mixture and any remaining stock and stir to incorporate.  Stir in the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from williams-sonoma.com


  1. I don't know about everyone, but for someone who eats over 100 pounds of cabbage products per year (counted last year just for fun!, that meal is a winner. It's beautiful and delicious! Bacon or not, Brussels sprouts are fantastic in any recipe, although I do have to admit, there were occasions, when even I didn't eat it because it was overcooked.
    Thank you for a beautiful dish!

    1. We are big cabbage lovers, so I am probably with you on the pounds per year☹. And I agree with you about the overcooked sprouts. They are not good eats. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. You are so right when you say they are polarizing. I think people are just scarred from their childhoods of eating poorly cooked ones. Yours look great! :)

  3. Wow - all of your Thanksgiving side dish options look wonderful... what a collection of great recipes! Thanks for sharing!


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