Creamy Braised Brussels Sprouts

February 11th, 2009  | Category: Vegetable, Vegetarian

Creamy Braised Brussels Sprouts

I would have never imagined that I’d find myself daydreaming about Brussels sprouts one day.

It happens to me a lot with ice cream, Nutella-filled mini doughnuts, bagels and Korova cookies, but never with Brussels sprouts.

That was until I took a chance and tried the Creamy Braised Brussels Sprouts recipe from Molly Stevens’ “All About Braising”.

Brussels Sprouts

I ordered the book back in the summer and waited anxiously for the winter months to come. This is one of the few recipes I’ve tried from the book, but I can already say this: If you can only buy one cookbook this winter, this should be it.

Braising is an uncomplicated and miraculous cooking technique that will put every ignored vegetable in your refrigerator to good use and flavor even the cheapest cut of meat. The book starts with a very thorough explanation of the technique and teaches you the principles needed to master the art of braising.  There are 125 recipes in total – from meat and poultry through seafood and vegetables.

Creamy Braised Brussels Sprouts 2

So how do these tiny green bastards become so utterly delicious? First they take a hot, creamy bath and just when they start going into a deep sleep, you wake them up with several squirts of lemon juice and suddenly, they are alive again.

I’ve so far prepared this dish three times and made a few changes along the way. First of all, I like my vegetables a bit undercooked so that I still get to bite into them. Thus, I reduced the braising time from the original 30-35 minutes to only 10. Also, the recipe calls for a cup of heavy cream, -and I would have also never imagined I’d be saying this- but I’ve found the result a bit heavy for my liking. I then reduced the heavy cream to quarter of a cup and used a combination of whole milk and vegetable broth for the remainder of the braising liquid. The resulting dish is sensational.

You know deep in your heart that you want to love Brussels sprouts, too. And if this recipe doesn’t do it, nothing ever will. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from “All About Braising” by Molly Stevens.


Serves 2-4

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Wash and trim the base and ragged outer leaves of Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until they begin to brown (5-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour in the cream, milk and vegetable stock and reduce to a low simmer. Cover with lid and braise over low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to your serving dish with a slotted spoon.
  6. Add the juice of a lemon to the remaining sauce in the skillet and reduce, on medium-heat, until it develops a fawn color, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Pour over the Brussels sprouts, toss and serve hot or warm.
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  1. 1 - iWalk on February 11th, 2009

    Wow! yummy!

    Always feel hungry when I come here. 😛

  2. 2 - Jessie on February 11th, 2009

    Oh, these look divine! (And I’m totally with you…never thought I’d be saying that about Brussels sprouts, of all things!)

    a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

  3. 3 - thehungryengineer (april) on February 11th, 2009

    I’ve made this recipe several times as well. I’m not a big Brussels sprouts eater, but my husband **adores** them and absolutely loves this recipe!

  4. 4 - tangobaby on February 11th, 2009

    I am going to make this recipe tonight! I love Brussels sprouts. Thanks for the recipe. I’m sure it’s delicious.

  5. 5 - Gera @ SweetsFoods on February 11th, 2009

    I feel in the same way about brussels sprouts not my preferred so far, by the taste change and this recipe utterly worth to try it!

    Thanks for sharing Cenk!

    All the best,

  6. 6 - Naz on February 11th, 2009

    Excellent idea! Many thanks for the recipe Cenk; I’ll definitely give it a try soon.

  7. 7 - Alison on February 11th, 2009

    I am sorry…I was distracted by the Nutella-filled mini doughnuts.. LOL

    I will admit…the Brussels sprouts do sound tasty. 🙂

  8. 8 - Manggy on February 11th, 2009

    Actually I’ve never had brussels sprouts before! Maybe I will take advantage of the cafe fernando guarantee 😉

  9. 9 - Kian on February 11th, 2009

    Poor Brussels sprouts. Much maligned. I’ve always love them. They are also very healthful. High in protein and rich in Vitamin C. Also contain plant phytonutrients that help prevent cancer. So there… eat your Brussels sprouts!

  10. 10 - Banu (BaL) on February 11th, 2009

    I love the dropping motion in the first photo.
    (I always love Brussels sprouts!)

  11. 11 - MsGourmet on February 11th, 2009

    I can’t stand Brussel sprouts as i think they smell like stale, dirty socks! But you have made these ‘tiny green bastards’ look edible!

  12. 12 - helen on February 11th, 2009

    Molly – she’s wonderful, isn’t she. And those pictures of yours are quite the tease.

  13. 13 - joey on February 12th, 2009

    This is fantastic! I actually LOVE brussels sprouts already, but when I tried this recipe, well, let’s just say I was over the moon!

  14. 14 - zestycook on February 12th, 2009

    These look amazing! Thanks for sharing.


  15. 15 - Beverly on February 12th, 2009

    Wow! What a wonderful way to prepare Brussel Sprouts! Thanks for sharing.

  16. 16 - autumblack on February 12th, 2009

    The best Brussels I’ve seen! Delicious! Makes the internet more enjoyable and tasty!


  17. 17 - Heidi / Savory Tv on February 12th, 2009

    Gorgeous. Had you not browned them as you did, I may not have said so. The bad memories of childhood take on a new life here!

  18. 18 - Siri on February 12th, 2009

    Did you say braising? I heard of that cooking technique but never tried myself. I think now I should. Gorgeous pics too.


  19. 19 - Vassia Komi on February 15th, 2009

    I read you recipe and bought yesterday Brussel sprouts.I think I am going to give it a try tommorrow!
    Thanks for the recipe

  20. 20 - Pigpigscorner on February 16th, 2009

    Not a big fan of brussels sprouts but they look really good! GOrgeous pictures.

  21. 21 - Christina on February 17th, 2009

    Their colour is beautiful.It’s a pity that I never eat that befour.I’m from China.But we have delitious good,too

  22. 22 - multikulinaria on February 17th, 2009

    Wish I had seen that post yesterday before I messed up my Brussels sprouts… Next time I’ll try braising. Thanks for sharing!

  23. 23 - Naz on February 18th, 2009

    I tried this recipe tonight. It turned out great! Cenk, you deserve a medal for making my husband eat vegetable:)

  24. 24 - cammu on February 19th, 2009

    I love brussels sprouts.
    They are so tasty.
    Your recipe looks pretty good.

  25. 25 - cherie on February 20th, 2009

    This looks amazing! You’re making me crave brussels sprouts! I can’t belive this!

  26. 26 - Phoo-D on February 21st, 2009

    This is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. So many wonderful recipes. We’re making the porter maple rosemary glazed short ribs this weekend. I’ve never been a big brussels sprout fan, but this could definitely change my mind!

  27. 27 - Suzy on February 21st, 2009

    I’m always looking for new brussel sprout recipes. This is a new one for me!

  28. 28 - Joie de vivre on February 22nd, 2009

    My first time on your blog! This is my favorite way to cook brussels. I LOVE them!

  29. 29 - All for free recipes on February 25th, 2009

    i’ve never tried brussel sprouts but your brussel sprouts look tasty! i guess i will try brussel sprouts for the first time using your recipe. thanks!

  30. 30 - Sarah J on February 26th, 2009

    What’s going on over on the Turkish side of your blog? My Turkish isn’t good enough to read much except the word “Congratulations” over and over. What’s up? Thanks, Sarah

  31. 31 - Cenk on February 26th, 2009

    Sarah – Cafe Fernando was chosen as one of the World’s 50 Best Food Blogs by the London Times. I was going to mention it here as well, but haven’t got the time to write the post yet. Here’s the link to the list, in case you want to have a look.

  32. 32 - Christie @ fig&cherry on February 27th, 2009

    Stunning combination of flavours! I love your styling too – the gold/bronze spoon goes perfectly with the caramelised edges. Just beautiful.

    Stumbled! 😛

  33. 33 - Sarah J on February 27th, 2009

    Congratulations! You deserve it for your efforts. Looks like they mined your site for the others, too. I’ve always thought you had exceptional blogs linked on your site, seems the Times agrees. Thanks for letting me know, and congratulations again, SJ

  34. 34 - lisa (dandysugar) on February 28th, 2009

    Ooh, I am such a brussel sprout fan. Your dish looks really delicious. Lately, I’ve been roasting them with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fennel seeds. I can’t wait to give this one a try!

  35. 35 - Betul on March 4th, 2009

    Hi Cenk,

    I love this one ~yummy! OK, I know I mentioned before (in your Turkish blog) that my family loved this recipe and I’m going to ask something else but I just wanted to say it out loud again. I love this recipe! 🙂 Anyway. I’m going to San Francisco later this month for a conference and hopefully I’ll have some time visit a couple of places. Any suggestions? Anyone you want me to say hello for you? 🙂

  36. 36 - Cenk on March 4th, 2009

    Betul – You’re so lucky! Here are my suggestions: The Slanted Door (order Chicken Claypot), Zuni Cafe (order Caesar Salad, Shoestring French Fries, Zuni Roast Chicken), Chez Panisse (in Berkeley), In-n-Out Burger (Fisherman’s Wharf, order your burger animal style). Noone in particular, just yell hello while you’re riding on the Golden Gate Bridge 🙂 Have fun!

  37. 37 - Erik on March 6th, 2009

    I have a slightly different take on Brussels sprouts (not to detract from the posted recipe–it looks divine!) I trim and cut them the same way, place them on a baking dish cut side up, drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and crushed walnuts. 30 minutes at 350, and they are simply amazing! You might want to reduce the time as you prefer your veggies less tenderized, but there is a carmelization that takes place that makes the “tiny green bastards” become simply awesome!

  38. 38 - Cenk on March 6th, 2009

    Erik – Thanks a lot for the recipe. I’ll definitely try it!

  39. 39 - Y on March 28th, 2009

    I’m drooling. This looks so tasty! I usually cook-through my sprouts though. Apparently they give you gas otherwise.

  40. 40 - uk chefs forum on April 22nd, 2009

    Will be trying this! Thanks

  41. 41 - Micha on June 9th, 2009

    I did it and I love it!
    I wanted to like those little buggers since I got do know them. But every time I tried a new approach I got disappointed. Mushy and bitter!
    I am also deeply in love with this technique and used to full success on chicoree.

  42. 42 - Ashley on August 4th, 2009

    I recently got into brussels sprouts, too. This looks great!

  43. 43 - callie on August 20th, 2009

    I’ve heard nothing but good reviews of Stevens’s All About Braising, but as a vegetarian on a budget, I go back and forth about whether it’s worth the investment. I only have so much in my cookbook budget, and I generally reserve it for books with a high proportion of vegetables. I know I’m about six months late commenting on this, but let me know!

  44. 44 - Cenk on August 23rd, 2009

    callie – It is a great book, but if you’re a vegetarian you might also consider Chez Panisse Vegetables.

  45. 45 - J on November 18th, 2009

    I’ve been obsessed with this recipe, having made it about 4 times now. The results have varied cause I’ve changed the prep steps several times, but I’ve enjoyed them every time. I’m currently attempting to bake them since I’m making a huge batch at once and don’t want to break them into 3 batches on the stove.

  46. 46 - colombine on November 11th, 2013

    the dreaming about food i would not normally dream about i had recently about cooked salmon (i’ve always liked raw and smoked but cooked, no until i did it this way

    so i had big hopes for this recipe, being on a hunt for recipe which will trick me into liking vegetables. and it did almost worked but not quite (the dreaming thing) but i saw great potential so i adapted it to green beans with the following changes:

    1. i seasoned with salt and pepper when stir-frying the beans, and after adding the cream and just before serving. it may sound a lot but the sauce was incredibly tasty without tasting either salty or peppery so i believe it’s important
    2. instead of cream+milk+broth i used low-fat single cream (15%)
    3 just before adding the cream i added a few small cubes of farmer’s quality smoked dry cured bacon (it gave a fantastic taste to the final sauce)
    4. as much i love lemon juice i thought that the amount added in the original recipe was not working out for me in terms of taste balance so i just added a squeeze.

    the result was dreamlike and believe me i never dreamed about green beans before.

    i may go back to trying it for sprouts but i will leaf them this time. i had them once served as single leaves in a creamy sauce and it was delicious.

    thank you for this post, it really inspired me and it’s very hard to inspire me with vegetables

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