Braised and Baked Brussels Sprouts
Serve this hearty gratin as a side dish to accompany roasted chicken or lamb. For a vegetarian version substitute onion for the bacon and sauté it in a little olive oil, then proceed as directed. Neudorf is a Pyrenees-style sheep’s milk cheese with a complex nuttiness that comes from up to 15 months of aging. Appropriate substitutes include Piedmont from Everona Dairy in Virginia or a well-aged Manchego.
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- ¼ pound bacon, cut into small squares
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ pound brussels sprouts, washed and halved
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 sprigs rosemary, needles only, chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ pound Neudorf sheep’s milk cheese (or other long-aged artisan substitute), grated
- Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered—3 to 4 minutes. Smash one of the garlic cloves, and add to the skillet with the brussels sprouts and 4 thyme sprigs; cook briefly until the garlic is slightly browned.
- Add the chicken broth, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Season with salt and a little pepper, cover, and simmer for 6 minutes, until the sprouts are tender. Meanwhile, roughly chop the remaining garlic cloves; remove and chop the leaves from the remaining sprigs of thyme.
- Transfer the brussels sprouts mixture to an oven-safe baking dish. Toss the bread crumbs with the rosemary, thyme leaves, and chopped garlic, then drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture and the cheese over the brussels sprouts, and bake until the top is golden and crispy.
- Chef Schwass likes to serve the warm brussels sprouts lightly topped with grated cheese, tiny pea sprouts, and a few tender-crisp leaves from a brussels sprout.
culture: the word on cheese http://culturecheesemag.com/