Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts

In addition to being the most wonderful time of the year, the end of December also feels like the busiest time of year. Time really flies when you’re deathly ill, cooking/sous-chef-ing up a storm*, cleaning, hosting, partying, working and reading one very funny book.

So I hope you’ll forgive me for being about two weeks late with this recipe, which probably would have been the perfect side dish to your holiday ham or turkey (or in our case, Cornish hens). But it’s also a great way to kick off “diet season,” also known as the first two weeks of the year. Unlike the bacon-laden, cheese and breadcrumb-packed Brussels sprouts of my past, this recipe coaxes flavor out of the tiny cabbages with white wine and Dijon mustard — a Frenchified version of Brussels sprouts, one might say. Was there any doubt I would love it?

The only changes I made to the recipe were to omit the cream (didn’t have any), use more Dijon and add some fresh thyme. The only thing that makes them better is a glass of white wine (hey, you had to open the bottle anyway!) and a side of Jean-Ralphio.

I foresee a lot of these Dijon-braised Brussels sprouts in my new year, and hopefully, they’ll be in your new year too. Cheers!

*We made spinach-artichoke dip, trifle dessert cups and spicy cream-cheese pinwheels, among many, many other things. I took pictures of exactly nothing. It’s really hard to multi-task when you’re still cooking 10 minutes before guests arrive …

Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

– 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

– 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– salt and pepper, to taste

– 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

– 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)

– 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

– 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1) Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Arrange the sprout halves cut-side down in the skillet in one layer. (Brown them in batches if they don’t all fit in one layer). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the sprouts, without turning, until the undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes.

2) Add the shallots, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid or tin foil and cook until the Brussels sprouts are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork, 15-20 minutes.

3) Spoon the sprouts into a bowl. Whisk in the Dijon and taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary with salt, pepper or mustard. Whisk in the thyme and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, then pour the sauce over the sprouts and serve immediately.

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