As far as cruciferous vegetables go, Brussels sprouts can sure get a whole lot of mileage. Roast them up in the oven with nothing but a coat of olive oil and dash of salt, and they can nearly become akin to some sort of healthy miracle French fry in terms of savory, salty snackability. Pan-fry them, sear them, add bacon or lemon or… braise them in cider?
Yes, the cider you have stocked in your fridge may very well be the final component you need to give pan-fried sprouts a lift. More specifically, a dry to off-dry, still or ever-so-subtly sparkling cider will do the trick especially well. We used The Jefferson from Maryland’s Distillery Lane Ciderworks, a Newtown Pippin and heritage cider apple blend aged in American oak, which expertly complemented the smoky pancetta and buttery-tender sprouts (psst… this is also a former GLINTCAP gold medal-winner so win-win).
Finish with that critical dash of salt and these sprouts are savory and bright thanks to a generous simmer in your cider of — which ultimately reduces into a delicate glaze. A natural fit, serve with a healthy pour of The Jefferson and enjoy!
1 pound Brussels sprouts
3-4 ounces pancetta (or bacon), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups Distillery Lane The Jefferson cider, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse your sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, trim off the stubby ends, and cut in half.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté pancetta until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, or until soft. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until golden-brown, another 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of cider. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cider has reduced to a light glaze and the Brussels sprouts are tender. If too much liquid boils away before Brussels sprouts are cooked through, add remaining ½ cup cider.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.