Sprouts for Supper

leftover pork steak and brussels sprouts

I just started liking brussels sprouts this year.  I had never tried them before, probably because they’re a stereotypical, scary vegetable that kids tend to not like.  In trying to be more brave in my healthful vegetable choices though, I tried my mom’s oven roasted sprouts and found that they were delicious when the edges get caramelized and crispy.  I’ve been making my own version of oven roasted brussels sprouts ever since, starting by sauteing them in a hot pan, often with bacon or duck fat for flavor, and then transferring the pan into the oven.  I just like to be able to season and stir them around in a rounded pan rather than having to mush and roll them around on a sheet pan.  This method also allows me to add other ingredients in with the sprouts to make a whole meal.

The sprouts in this post feature sausage because I’m currently hooked on this white wine and herb sausage I can order through Relay Foods.  It’s from a place called Sausage Craft, based out of Richmond, Va.  They make sausage from different animals (I can’t wait to try their lamb and gyro sausages) and even from different cuts of the same animal.  You might have noticed from reading my blog that I’m a big fan of pork belly, so I fell in love with Sausage Craft when I learned they made a Pork Belly sausage, featuring shoulder and belly meat (two cuts I’m particularly fond of), red wine, rosemary, and other herbs.  My family also loves their Fresh Herb sausage, and I’ll cook a big batch on the weekends for us so that I can have the leftovers during the week.

oven roasted brussels sprouts and Sausage Craft sausage

I start by boiling the sausages in a big pan with just about an inch of water to cook them through.  I put the pan on medium, lay the links in, pour water over top, and place the lid on until their color changes and until they’ve gotten firm.  I then take the sausages out, pour the water out of the pan, return the sausages, and fry them on each side to get a nice caramel-y, crispy casing.  They’re great on their own or paired with a salad, but I particularly like adding pieces of the sausage to other dishes.  I save the fried-up links, and when I’m ready to cook one, I cut it into slices and saute it, so that now the inside edges of the sausage get nice and golden brown and crispy.  I love sauteing them with peppers and onions, but this post is about how it complements brussels sprouts.

To make the dish you see in the picture, I started my quartered brussels sprouts on the stove, with bacon fat, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Then I transfer the pan to a 400 degree oven for about ten minutes.  This is normally when I toss the sprouts before returning them to the oven, but this time, I also added my sliced sausage.  After another ten minutes in the oven, I returned the pan to the stove for a minute to make sure all the little bits were crispy and delicious.  Everything was cooked in one pan, and it made for a delicious supper.

Brussels sprouts are a great, healthy vegetable, and they can actually be quite delicious when cooked right and paired with other scrumptious flavors.  If you like them, I hope you try out this variation on them and get creative with your own additions.  I’ve also found they’re delicious roasted with pine nuts, topped with Parmesan or goat cheese, and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice.  Enjoy!

One Response to “Sprouts for Supper”
  1. Mom says:

    Wish I could have some now, especially with sausage.

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