Brussels Sprouts Recipe—the German Way

The perfect winter cabbage

The perfect winter cabbage

The last days of winter inspire me to cook one my favorite winter vegetables one last time before the big thaw. Brussels sprouts are healthy, tasty, and affordable—a nice combo, right? I like Brussles sprouts (or, in the singular, Brussels sprout) in almost any configuration, but the German way is one of my favorites. Kudos go to my mom on this one; she cooked them for me during my last visit home. That great dinner, which included roasted duck breast, is what had me working this recipe as soon as I got back to New York. This recipe is yet another one that’s in the “easy” category, so it finds a nice spot on my weeknight dinner roster.

Brussels Sprouts cleaning A basket full of Brussels Sprouts goodness

To start: I clean the outer leaves and cut a thin slice off the bottom of each sprout, making sure the whole thing still stays together. Then I drop these tasty little morsels in a single layer into a sauté pan, fill the pan so as to cover the sprouts half way, add a couple tablespoons of butter, and salt and pepper.

So what is the ‘German’ part of this recipe? Good question. It’s in the last little secret ingredient so often used in German cooking (shhh!): a tablespoon of sugar. Together with the butter, it gives the little cabbage heads an unbelievably soft, buttery, I-want-more taste. Try this one—I think you will be favorably surprised.

Brussels Sprouts, Butter, Sugar, Salt and Peper

Almost done

Almost done

Cook the sprouts on a medium flame. If you got the water level right at the beginning, all the extra water is now evaporating, leaving the butter-sugar mixture to glaze the Brussels sprouts perfectly. The photo above shows the sprouts almost done. If you think the water is completely evaporated before the sprouts are done, just add a little more water. The reverse situation does not work so well (obviously 😉 ), so don’t overdue it. Just another minute of cooking should be adequate. When done, they should not fall apart, but they will be soft inside.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe: the German way Weeknight dinner Recipe: Brussels Sprouts and pan-roasted chicken tighs

I enjoy these Brussels sprouts with simple pan-roasted chicken thighs (our go-to protein during the week: must. build. muscles).

I hope you will try this Brussels sprout recipe, doing it the German way.

Guten Appetit!


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