Best Brussies

Its Brussels Sprout season, and although most of the time we can be a bit purest about vegetables (i.e, just a proper blanch and some good quality butter), once in a while we need the almighty ‘make ahead’ and ‘pot luck’ dish that elevates veggies to new heights.  This dish has everything you want in a holiday side dish: wine, cheese and cream!

This will make enough to fill a small lasagna-type pan.

 

2 pints baskets, about 4-5 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

kosher salt, as needed

1/4 cup butter, plus 2 tbsp. extra

1/2 cooking onion, finely diced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup white wine

3 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup 35% cream

about 1 1/2 cups grated cheese, such as old white cheddar or Swiss Gruyere

 

Blanch sprouts: bring a very large pot of water to boil; add enough salt to make the water taste salty (remember, blanching in highly salted water brings out the sweetness of the vegetables and draws the bitter taste out)

Blanch for about 2 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water

Optional Step: Saute the brussels sprouts in a hot pan with some olive oil to give them a golden colour and crisp them up a bit.  This is an optional step before placing them in your baking dish (see step 7).

Make sauce: Heat a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp. butter and sweat onion (soft but not brown) for a few minutes before adding garlic.  Sweat garlic for about a minute, then add remaining butter.  Melt this butter and then add flour

Cook the butter/onion/flour mixture (roux) for about 5 minutes, then slowly whisk in white wine.  Simmer for a few minutes and then whisk in stock.  Try to maintain a simmer.

When all the stock is added, allow this mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Then whisk in cream.  Taste for seasoning.  You’ll need a good amount of salt if you used homemade stock, or just a little if its from the box.

Place brussies in your baking dish.  Pour over sauce and then top with cheese.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, until all nice and hot and melty.

Make this ahead: everything but the oven.  If you’re baking from cold, allow more time in the oven.