Swedish Sausage and Brussels Sprout Stew

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Brussels sprouts. Is there a vegetable more polarizing than these ping-pong-ball-sized miniature cabbages? I haven’t met many people who like them, for a variety of reasons:

“No flavor.”

“Too mushy.”

“Weird smell.”

“Old people food.”

Okay maybe I haven’t actually heard that last one, but you know people are thinking it. Brussels sprouts are one of those foods that get shunned like turnips or split pea soup or molded jello with odd things floating in it. But unlike those ones, Brussels sprouts totally don’t deserve that treatment. These little puppies are delicious. I adore them. They’re versatile. They’re tasty. I’d bet lots of money that they’re super-duper healthy.

I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, yeah, that’s what my mom told me when I was a kid. Before she plopped down a plate of them in front of me at the impressionable age of five, and I put one in my mouth and the urge to retch was stronger than the time I decided to share my dog’s food.”

And to that I say, “If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you’re not cooking them right.” Which you’ve probably heard. But really. It’s true.

This stew is a great way to start the climb to the other side of the Brussels sprout fence. Hopefully it will at least get you looking at the other side, where my fellow Brussels sprout fanatics (I know you’re out there) and I will be waiting in a magical Brussels sprout forest. Why magical? Because life will be so much more enjoyable now that you like Brussels sprouts! Just think of all the possibilities and go with it.

It looks like there are a lot of them in the stew (and there are) but there are so many other flavors that it’s completely okay. Also: this is the easiest dinner ever. You literally chop a bunch of stuff and throw it in a pot. No sauteing, no browning, no fancy ingredients or instructions. Plus: leftovers! I actually recommend not eating this stew the day you make it. Throw it in the fridge to marinate for a day and you’ll like it even more.

Here we go. Your introduction to the Brussels sprout.

There’s chopping, chopping, and more chopping.

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Which will result in this:

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And this:

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Toss in a bay leaf, some salt and pepper, and broth, let it cook for less than 15 minutes, and you’re done!

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Swedish Sausage and Brussels Sprout Stew

Serves 4-6

From Real Stew (which will become your trusty winter food Bible)

1 lb small mortadella sausage or large cooked or smoked Polish kielbasa (that’s what I used), skinned and cut into large dice

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds

1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise into thirds

1 bay leaf

2 tsp salt (if you use store-bought broth or bouillon, don’t use more than this)

6 black peppercorns (use more than that. maybe 10)

2 cups beef broth (the book recommends homemade broth. store-bought is great.)

1 cup water

Finely chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Put all the ingredients, except the parsley, in a stew pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until everything is tender, about 12 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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