brussels sprouts braised in cream

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You know what I hate? Those “hide the vegetables in brownies” cookbooks. I admit that I don’t have kids, so maybe I just have no clue and that really is the only way to get them to eat something healthy. But, for now, my theory is that if you prepare vegetables well, there will be no need to hide them.

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By “preparing them well,” I don’t necessarily mean braising them in cream, of course, but if you can afford the caloric expense, these are certainly worth showcasing instead of hiding. Because these are absolutely just so freaking ridiculously good. Is that enough adverbs? Probably not. They’re worth more.

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They’re easy too, and you can clean and trim the sprouts early in the day and put them right in the saucepan with the cream and seasonings. About 15 minutes before dinner, put the pot on a hot burner and give it a quick shake every so often. If you have a few extra minutes to make these even more rich and delicious, remove the cooked sprouts from the pot and continue simmering the cream until it’s luscious and thick, then pour it over the sprouts. It’s just…I don’t even…you just can’t describe something that good.

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Because they’re so easy, so good, and most of the work can be done in advance, these are perfect for guests. And just a piece of advice: your guests will probably enjoy them even more if you don’t mention the whole “braised in cream” part.

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One year ago: Sausage Apple Hash
Two years ago: Risotto with Peas

Printer Friendly Recipe
Brussels Sprouts Braised in Cream (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Serves 4

1 pound small Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed with a knife and discolored leaves removed
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
ground black pepper

1. Bring the sprouts, cream, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer, shaking the pan once of twice to redistribute the sprouts, until a knife tip inserted into the center of a sprout meets no resistance, 10-12 minutes. Season with nutmeg and pepper to taste.

2. (Optional) Heat the oven to 200ºF. With a slotted spoon, remove the sprouts from the saucepan and transfer them in a heatproof serving dish. Place the sprouts in the oven to keep warm. Meanwhile, simmer the remaining cream in the saucepan over medium-high heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Pour the cream sauce over the sprouts and serve immediately.

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Suggested menu: Steak au Poivre, Brussels Sprouts Braised in Cream, Twice-Baked Potatoes


  1. I do have kids – 2 boys, ages 1 & 3 – and I hate those books too. Almost every morning when I ask my 3 year old what he wants for breakfast, he says pasta and broccoli. The little guy is crazy for broccoli too. They love veggies, because I feed them veggies, and not “kid food”. Those brussels sprouts look fantastic. I usually roast mine, but I think some cream braised ones will have to make an appearance soon!

  2. Even though I don’t have kids yet, I hate those books too. I always liked vegetables as a kid, and I hope my kids will be the same way! I actually really like brussels spouts and these look amazing!

  3. We love brussels, and I’m always looking for another great recipe. I think we might try this tonight!

  4. So with you on the hiding vegetables thing. I ALWAYS love brussels sprouts so I’m starring this for when I really feel like indulgint!

  5. I love Brussels sprouts!! Going to have to try this recipe.

  6. I also agree about the disguising vegetable recipes- I think they are so unnecessary and bizarre! My 21 month old daughter eats everything- I’ve never done the whole chicken nugget and easy mac thing with her so she thinks good food means flavorful food- which of course includes veggies! These Brussels sprouts look amazing!

  7. Man, those look good. I loved Brussels sprouts as a kid, as well as broccoli and artichokes and other such “weird” foods.

    I will admit that I might try to “hide” some beets from our CSA in a cake just to use them up!

  8. I am going to make these a Christmas! I love brussel sprouts but I am the only one-maybe this year I can win a few over to my side!

  9. I don’t understand the books, either. Isn’t part of being a good parent not only making sure they eat their veggies, but also training them to make their own proper choices? How will they learn if you’re always hiding everything and enforcing bad eating habits, rather than encouraging them to eat real food?

    anyway, you’re recipe looks delish! I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a brussels sprout, but I actually really want to try them soon. I’ve been looking for a good recipe to start me out! this might just be it 🙂 thanks!

  10. suzanne says:

    well, i hate brussels sprouts. yuck! in fact, every once in awhile when my girls complain at dinner, i threaten them with a dinner that they’re REALLY going to dislike! the last time i was good on that threat, i microwaved (separately, of course! i wouldn’t want to mentally scar my children!) spinach, brussels sprouts, and lima beans. no butter. no garlic. no salt. and no pepper. (c:
    the next night they LOVED dinner!

    but, i’ve gotta tell you, these look pretty good! in fact, i think that i am going to try these bad boys tonight. i might even add some garlic and parmesan cheese to ensure their unhealthiness! (c:

  11. Made these for dinner tonight and they were delicious. My husband and I ate almost a whole pound of brussels sprouts with my 13 year old ingesting a few (and liking them).