Thanksgiving is a time for gluttony. Think: butter-rubbed turkeys, more butter in the mashed potatoes, even more butter in the pie crusts and cream in the pie filling, plus whipped cream on the side, because duh. Let’s not play games.
In the face of such excesses, some might crave vegetable sides that are a bit more austere, as a balance to the richness overflowing on Thanksgiving plates. Not I, friends. Not I.
If I’m going to indulge a little bit, then I might as well indulge a lot, and this Brussels sprouts gratin is indulging in every sense of the word. There’s a heap of bacon and plenty of cream and a pile of cheese, and that’s after I lightened it up a bit! (The original recipe called for twice the amount of cream and butter, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. Trust me, you miss nothing with this version … )
A hit of mustard adds a bit of zing to cut through some of the richness, and the end result is a gratin that is so good, I ate an unconscionable amount on my own. It is exactly the kind of decadent side dish I want once a year, on a day when eating well trumps everything else.
More Thanksgiving: Literally every recipe you need, plus the most important tips for surviving Thanksgiving Day, are over here. You got this!
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, split in half
- 1 medium shallot, finely minced
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces shredded Gruyere, Comté, or Fontina cheese
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently until the fat has rendered and the bacon is browned. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts have lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until the shallots have softened and are fragrant.
- In a bowl (or in your measuring cup), combine the half-and-half and Dijon mustard. Add the half-and-half mixture to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced by about half and has a consistency that coats each sprout, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and top with the shredded cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake uncovered until the gratin is bubbly around the edges, and the cheese has melted and browned, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.