Brussels sprouts have come a long way in the days since they were boiled to a stinky, cabbage-y death. Rapid, high-heat cooking has been the game-changer for me, but what if I told you that there's an even better way to cook Brussels sprouts? One that forgoes that quick cooking in lieu of extra-richness and flavor? A method that not only delivers decadently delicious results, but can be made 100% ahead of time with just a short stay in the oven prior to serving? This cheesy casserole packed with bacon and Brussels sprouts is where it's at.
Why this recipe works:
- Browning our bacon with butter adds plenty of sweet, smoky flavor to our finished casserole.
- Bacon combined with reduced heavy cream and cheese creates an incredibly decadent and rich background for the sprouts.
Note: This recipe can be prepared through the end of step 2 and stored covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before proceeding with step 3 and serving.
- 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, split in half
- 1 medium shallot, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces shredded Gruyère, Comté, or Fontina cheese
Heat butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a large straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven. Cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add heavy cream and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Adjust heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until cream has reduced by about half and has a consistency that coats each sprout, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a casserole pan and cover with shredded cheese (for make-ahead instructions, see note).
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer casserole to oven and bake uncovered until bubbly around the edges and cheese is melted and spotted brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
2 quart oval casserole dish