Pale Ale Braised Brussels Sprouts – From Beer Magazine #33
I tasted several beers on a recent visit to the Karl Strauss Brewery in San Diego, CA, including their Pintail Pale Ale. I’m generally a stout or porter girl, but the floral, juicy-citrus aroma of Pintail really grabbed my attention. To me, the taste was definitely citrus, a little on the lemony side with a bit of grapefruit, clean and crisp with a mild and slight—but pleasant—bitter finish. I instantly thought of using it in the kitchen along with my favorite of all lemons, the Meyer, and that polarizing little cruciferous vegetable that people seem to either love or hate. Brussels sprouts are one of those great hearty winter vegetables that take very well to roasting and sautéing and that also pair perfectly with bacon. Here we brighten the cool season favorite with the freshness of lemon and the crispness of a citrusy pale ale and, for good measure, a little bacon.
2 strips applewood smoked bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Karl Strauss Pintail Pale Ale
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
½ teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
For crunchy topping: 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs and a little butter to toast them in.
In a small dutch oven or large frying pan, add the bacon, stirring occasionally; cook until crisp. Remove half of the bacon, drain on a paper towel, and set aside for later. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the butter to the bacon fat in the pan; then add the shallots. Cook the shallots for a few minutes until transparent, stirring often and being careful not to let them burn. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan, stirring to coat them all. At this point you want to get a bit of browning on the sprouts, but not too quickly. Keeping a close eye on them and stir occasionally; you can also raise the heat a little if need be.
Once the Brussels sprouts are a little brown, add the beer, then turn the heat back down to medium-low. Cover the pan with a lid but crack it a bit to allow steam to escape. Braise the sprouts covered this way for about 5 or 6 minutes, then take the lid off and turn the heat down to low. Give them a good stir, and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Crunchy Panko Topping
2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon butter
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the panko bread crumbs, stirring until toasted to a golden brown.
Not your momma’s Brussels sprouts
If you weren’t a fan of the sprout before, I hope this recipe sways your opinion. If, however, you love Brussels sprouts like I do, then add this recipe to your list of the many ways to cook them that don’t include boiling them to a gray-green mushy death.