Brussels sprouts
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 22: Put some Brussels into it

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

“Your eyes are bigger than your belly.”

My dad would trot that admonition out on those rare occasions when I’d load my plate with more than I could consume. (In retrospect, though, I was such a fussy eater that he must have been talking to my brothers.)

Jean-Claude Van Damme
Apropos of absolutely nothing, here is the Muscles from Brussels himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme

My grown-up variation of that problem is to load up my grocery cart with waaaaaayyyy more produce — especially vegetables — than can possibly be consumed in a timely fashion. Fortunately, many winter vegetables (beets, cabbage, carrots, squash, Brussels sprouts) have a decent shelf life … but still.

In my fridge, the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts were starting to get a bit gakky (and even though I just made up that word, you probably know exactly what I mean) so it was time use them before they become the one thing that is worse than a kitchen castoff — thrown out.

Growing up, Brussels sprouts never touched my plate. Boiled little balls of mushy awfulness, as I recall. (Then again, I was a fussy eater.) But this recipe for braised brussels with bacon is as simple as it is delicious. Not only do my kids like it, my parents will even special request it for dinner when I go out to visit.

Kitchen (almost) castoff used

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts and bacon, ready to eat
Brussels sprouts and bacon, ready to eat

This is how we did it


  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bacon (about four or five strips)
  • Stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • Salt and pepper


Trim Brussels sprouts, cutting off the end and removing any unappetizing outer leaves. Slice in half lengthwise

Cook bacon strips in a non-stick skillet; the goal is to create two to three tablespoons of bacon fat. Remove the bacon before it gets crispy, and cut into bite-size pieces.

Place sprouts cut-side down into the grease in the skillet. *You can make ahead to this point.

On medium-high heat, sear the bottom of the sprouts.

Return the bacon to the skillet. Add about a ¼ cup of stock (beef or chicken) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally, usually about 8 to 10 minutes. Add more stock as needed until the sprouts are crisp tender.

Curious what my “Kitchen Castoffs”? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project

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2 thoughts on “Day 22: Put some Brussels into it”

  1. Dang, this looks awesome! I am going meatless for the month so I ask you this question. Is there any way you can find someway to tell me that bacon may not be a meat? Apparently my favorite vegetable, the tomatoe, is a fruit SO perhaps bacon is a ….! I know, I’m stretching. 🙂 Fantastic blog Therese.


    1. I found some pretty horrifying ways to make vegetarian bacon. There is also this pearl from Wikipedia:
      “The cookbook American Wholefoods Cuisine: Over 1300 Meatless Recipes from Short Order to Gourmet includes a bacon substitute that the authors Nikki and David Goldbeck dubbed “Cheeson”. They use it in their vegetarian BLT, which they dub the “CLT”, but it can also be used in salads and the like.”
      Right. Like I am ever going to a restaurant to order a CLT!!!!!


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